When Toyota released a teaser image of its 2019 Prius sedan, the most obvious scene is that the car is sitting on snow. Driving on such conditions would be more favorable if a car has an all-wheel drive configuration. This led to a speculation that the new Toyota Prius would be getting an AWD version. Now, this isn't a speculation anymore, as Toyota has already confirmed and revealed at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show the arrival of the 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e.
Toyota’s new AWD-e system is quite different from the typical all-wheel drive configuration. But with the new AWD-e system, the Prius expands its "Let's Go Places" battlecry to "Let's go more places, in more conditions." Of course, the 2019 Prius is still available in its classic front-wheel drive layout.
This is how Toyota's AWD-e system works. Instead of using a center differential, a torque-apportioning device, or a front-to-rear driveshaft, this AWD-e system employs a magnet-less rear motor to power the rear wheels from nil to 6 mph, up to speeds of 43 mph. Since this an automatic on-demand system, it only activates when needed, such as when pulling away from a stop. When the AWD-e system senses that all-wheel-drive performance isn't needed for the driving situation, it won't activate.
This makes the 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e more suitable to when weather and road conditions are less than ideal, providing drivers with more confidence and control. Likewise, its on-demand nature allows it to remain efficient. Toyota estimates the new 2019 Prius AWD-e to fuel economy numbers of 52 mpg city / 48 mpg highway / 50 mpg combined. The AWD-e model will be available in LE and XLE grades.
Nevertheless, the 2019 Toyota Prius FWD is still a very impressive efficient offering, with fuel economy estimates of 58 mpg city / 53 mpg highway / 56 mpg combined (L Eco grade), and 54 mpg city / 50 mpg highway / 52 mpg combined (LE, XLE and Limited).
Toyota expects the AWD-e model to account for up 25 percent of annual Prius sales in the US.
For the 2019 model year, the Toyota Prius boasts of more refined front and rear exterior styling as well as a number of updates inside the cabin. Two new colors for are available -- Supersonic Red and Electric Storm Blue. The AWD-e model will feature a new two-tone 15-inch alloy wheel (with cover).All models come standard with Bi-LED headlamps and LED rear combination lamps, a backup camera, and a full-width glass panel beneath the rear spoiler.
The 2019 Prius AWD-e is powered by the same Hybrid Synergy Drive system as other Prius models -- a 2ZR-FXE 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine, two motor/generators and an electronically controlled planetary-type continuously variable transmission (CVT).