Toyota is set to launch the first full-hybrid seven-seat MPV in Europe -- the Prius+ -- as it continues to expand its hybrid technology into new areas of the market. The innovative new model integrates the practicality of a traditional people carrier with ultra-efficient performance. Furthermore, it is the first mainstream Toyota hybrid to utilize a more compact, lighter lithium-ion battery pack.
The Prius+ comes in T4 and T Spirit trims. With the remarkable efficiency of its Hybrid Synergy Drive engine, its wind-cheating aerodynamics and light weight, the Prius+ in T4 grade generates 96 g/km. It is the only seven-seat model in the UK market to fall below the 100g/km carbon dioxide threshold for zero road tax and London congestion charge exemption.
The output from the T Spirit trim is 101 g/km. Official figures for fuel economy is at 64.2mpg for the T Spirit and 68.9mpg for the T4. The slim lithium-ion battery is installed neatly within the center console to prevent intrusions on the space provided for load carrying and for back seat passengers.
There are five separate folding back seats provided, and when filled, there is still an available luggage space of 200 liters.
The space increases to 505 liters with the third row put away. The range of styling and equipment options for Prius+ is still waiting for confirmation, but the Toyota Touch and Go Plus system as well as leather upholstery will be both available for the T4 models.
There are seven exterior color options for the Prius+. These are: Tyrol Silver, Decuma Grey, Orion Blue and Vermilion Red (metallic); White Pearl (pearlescent); and Pure White and Astral Black (solid). The T4 grade features Hayama grey cloth upholstery. It has Nagara black leather clad into the T Spirit.
Despite being designed from scratch, the new Toyota Prius+ can be described as an excellent evolution of the first generation Prius. This is because it continues to have that innovative and advanced design on the exterior. Since the goal was to improve aerodynamic performance, the Prius+ needed to have a compact size. However as the name implies, both space and the passenger accommodation has been increased.
Compared to the standard Prius for instance, the Prius+ is longer by 135 mm, wider by 30 mm, and higher by 85 mm. Even the wheelbase is longer by 80 mm. All of these meant that it can now have three rows, enough to sit a total of 7 people.
That the Prius+ is part of the Prius family can be immediately seen through the signature triangle profile. It also utilizes meticulous airflow management combined with the brand’s very own Under Priority design language for the front. No wonder this full-hybrid 7-seater has that innovative and clean style.
The new Prius+ experiences a number of advantages resulting from the use of aluminum and high tensile and lightweight steel for the construction as well as the quiet Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain. However to get the most of what these feature have to offer, the design of the exterior ensures aerodynamic efficiency is optimized and this enhances fuel economy in addition to quietness and handling stability.
As mentioned earlier, the front section follows the Under Priority trapezoidal design. With the horizontal trim being plated in chrome, the opening of the upper grille is made small as possible so that smooth airflow on the vehicle’s upper body is guaranteed. Meanwhile the lower grille has been made larger to better improve cooling efficiency.