Toyota Borrows From Tesla To Create The Surprisingly Sexy Prius Prime Plug-In

This is the best looking Prius yet and it's named after a Transformer!

Toyota wanted to make sure that everyone knows how good the new plug-in Prius is, so it gave it a new name. This is the Prius Prime. Toyota says it chose the name because "prime means best, making it the perfect name for one of the most technologically advanced, best-equipped Prius in the model’s history." Toyota estimates that the Prime will get 120 MPGe, the best of any plug-in hybrid on the market. The Prime will have an electric driving range of 22 miles, double that of the outgoing model.

The Prius Prime will be able to travel 22 miles on electricity alone, which is apparently the normal commuting distance of half of Americans. It'll also be able to do up to 84 on battery power alone. In addition to the efficiency improvements, the Prius Prime may be the best looking Prius model that we have ever seen (we know that's not saying much). The Prime adds many premium touches to the cabin, the most obvious of which is a gigantic, Tesla-like 11.6-inch HD touch screen. Toyota has also given the Prius Prime tons of safety technology including Toyota Safety Sense. This suite includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, automatic braking, lane departure alert, radar cruise control, and automatic high beams.

Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available to make this new Prius pretty much crash-proof. Toyota says that the Prius Prime is meant to look like the future. The car is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and about an inch lower than its predecessor. This gives it better cargo room and gives the Prius Prime a road-hugging stance (although we aren't quite sold on that second part). The front fascia of this new hybrid is attractive with quad LED headlights that "glow like diamonds cutting the night," at least according to Toyota. In an ode to efficiency, the back end is still raised awkwardly, though Toyota says "The distinctive aero rear window is eye-catching and adds to its slipstream character." Whatever that means.

While this thing is certainly not as good looking as say a Tesla Model S, it is an improvement over the outgoing car. Toyota says that it can be charged in 5.5 hours using a standard household outlet or in half that time if a 240V source is used. The 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine is the same as in all 2016 Prius hybrid models, but this will be the most efficient variant. We have to give Toyota some props here because the front end of the Prius Prime is not too shabby. That's right, we payed the Prius a compliment!

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