Owners can run the climate control and audio system while catching up on some work or just relaxing.
The Toyota Prius went through an extensive redesign for MY2023. A plug-in hybrid derivative will be made available later this year and comes with several interesting functions to make the owner's life easier.
One of these nifty features includes the "My Room Mode," exclusive to the PHEV model. Toyota says this allows occupants to enjoy creature comforts while the car is charging its batteries. Users simply need to turn the power switch on when the vehicle is plugged in, so owners no longer need to sit in the car without anything to do.
Instead, "My Room Mode" lets you use the climate control and sound system without running the engine. This will make charging more comfortable than before, and owners can catch up on work, relax, or catch up on other activities without sacrificing creature comforts.
But the function extends beyond being entertained while charging. If you find yourself in the cabin for hours on end - you can stay warm and updated via the radio without draining the battery or using the engine.
Of course, this will eventually drain the hybrid battery, but owners can manage the battery usage by monitoring the energy levels. The car has to remain plugged in, though.
Furthermore, the system shows if the energy levels deplete faster than charging, meaning that users can balance power consumption and avoid running out of battery juice. The Prius isn't the first plug-in hybrid from Toyota to employ this feature, as it's also available on the Toyota RAV4 Prime and the Lexus NX 450h+.
It's a significant upgrade for the Prius lineup, which was previously unavailable with this function.
As a reminder, the Prius PHEV produces a surprisingly potent 220 horsepower courtesy of the electrically assisted 2.0-liter gasoline engine. This makes for rather energetic performance, and the plug-in Prius can hit 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. That's faster than the GR86, which is a dedicated sports car.
Other cool amenities include a solar charging system that can convert sunshine into all-electric range. Toyota claims the solar panels can add up to 776 miles of range per year, although we're guessing this figure will be reduced when subjected to EPA estimates. The solar panel charges the drive battery and can supply power for climate control and other interior functions.
In the USA, the hybrid lineup starts from $27,450, but pricier models are available. The PHEV derivative retails for 4,600,000 Yen (approx $35,000) in Japan. We expect pricing to be similar when the Prime arrives later this year.
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