Toyota used the 2016 New York Auto Show to unveil the new, 2017 Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, which will serve as the most fuel-efficient option in the Japanese automaker’s gas-zipping lineup.
The Prius Prime is powered by the same 1.8L hybrid powertrain as the latest Prius hybrid but benefits from a bigger 8.8 kWh battery pack that enables better fuel economy and a greater overall pure-electric driving range of 22 miles (35 kilometers).
Despite being lower than the Chevy Volt’s impressive 53-mile (85 km) EV range, it’s a more usable figure than the previous Prius plug-in hybrid.
The Prius Prime is capable of driving at speeds of up to 84 mph (135 km/h) in EV mode and its battery pack can be fully charged in 5.5 hours when using a standard 110-volt outlet. Plugging into a 240-volt outlet cuts that time by half.
Toyota promises an estimated 120+ MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) in hybrid mode — an improvement of 26 percent compared to its predecessor — and up to 600 miles (965 km) between fill-ups.
Visually, the Prius Prime is distinguished by a Mirai-inspired front fascia featuring quad LED headlights that “glow like diamond” and a rear fascia with restyled, interconnected LED taillights.
It has the same 2+2 seating as the regular Prius but comes with more standard features, including a notably larger, 11.6-inch multimedia screen with navigation and a color head-up display.
Toyota’s Safety Sense P is part of the package and adds such features as lane departure warning with steering assist, pedestrian detection and radar cruise control.
The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid goes on sale in fall 2016. Do you see yourself owning one?
High-Performance Acura NSX Type-R Coming In 2020
There have been rumors of a hotter Type-R version of the Acura NSX ever since the the second-generation model hit the market in 2016.
Acura’s vice president and general manager Jon Ikeda previously hinted at the idea of an NSX Type-R, and now a new report claims it could arrive in 2020.
In an interview with , he expressed a strong desire to see the car but stopped short of confirming anything:
“I’m a car guy, so always faster performance vehicles… yeah we like that, we talk about it. We’ll see… anything can happen. “There’s always proposals.”
There are speculations that NSX Type-R could have up to 641 horsepower, which is a nice bump over the standard NSX’s 573-hp.
The Australia outlet claims it has been approved for development and that it will debut sometime in 2019 before arriving in 2020, but because we haven’t heard it from Acura’s own mouth, we’ll have to wait and see what’s speeding our way, if anything.
Toyota Admits It Beat The Prius Hybrid With The Ugly Stick
They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and that design is subjective, but does that really apply to the latest Toyota Prius hybrid, a car universally panned for its overdesigned exterior? I for one don’t think so, and it appears Toyota doesn’t, either.
The Japanese automaker did a better job with the more ascetically-palatable Prius Prime plug-in hybrid and will reportedly give the standard, head-scratching Prius hybrid a facelift to make it look more like it.
According to Japan’s , the 2019 model year Prius will have less awkward-looking headlights that are similar to those of the Prius Prime, as well as a revised rear end that addresses the tall and weirdly-shaped taillights. Its overall body shape and associated lines will remain unchanged.
Is this an admission from the company that the Prius is ugly? Perhaps. The changes will not only hopefully make the Prius look a bit better, but will also improve sales, which have dropped over the last few years in segment the model essentially owns outright. Its overdone styling likely has something to do with the decline.
Has Toyota finally figured out that ugly doesn’t sell?
Why Lease? New Lexus UX Is Available Via Subscription
Following in the footsteps of Volvo, Cadillac and Porsche, Lexus has announced a nee subscription service for the all-new UX crossover and possibly other models.
The ‘Care by Volvo’ subscription service, in particular, lets you subscribe for select Volvo model at a flat monthly rate that includes the monthly cost of the car, insurance and servicing. Lexus’s service should work in much the same way.
The UX will likely not be the only model available for subscription, but we’ll have to wait and see what the other Lexus models will be.
When the subcompact crossover goes on sale in 2018, it will be offered in two versions — the UX 200 and UX 250h. The UX 200 is powered by a new, 168-hp 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that powers the front wheels via a new Direct Shift-CVT featuring traditional gears in addition to the belt mechanism that is said to improve the poor driving experience that plagues most CVTs. It is not offered with all-wheel drive, unfortunately.
Stepping up to the UX 250h gets you an Atkinson Cycle hybrid system that generates a combined 176 horsepower and a 38 combined MPG rating. The addition of an electric motor to the rear axle grants it all-wheel drive.