Toyota introduced the second generation of its renowned Prius hybrid in India way back in 2010. The hybrid struggled to electrify the Indian car buyers and saw a dismal sales story. But now, with the Camry hybrid making a name in the country, the Prius may just make a comeback soon along with the impending Corolla Altis facelift. The new gen Prius was launched internationally in 2015 and was showcased at last year’s Delhi Auto Expo. Here is what we could expect the from the new Prius hybrid, which will reinstate its Indian campaign soon.
The fourth generation of the Prius hybrid is based on Toyota’s all-new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) modular platform. The flexible platform is modern and versatile to accommodate different body styles and powertrains. The Prius benefits from it with a lower centre of gravity and increased structural rigidity, which translates to a better ride quality and improved handling of the hybrid. Dimensionally, the new Prius measures 60mm longer, 15mm wider and 20mm lower than the outgoing car.
The new generation Prius leaves behind its soap-box design and cues its styling from the more contemporary Lexus brand. So the car looks sleeker, sharper and modern. The aerodynamics is better and drag coefficient has improved to 0.24, compared to 0.25 of the previous generation. Headlamps and taillights are all LED and the hybrid rides of specially designed 17-inch alloy wheels.
The new Prius comes laden with technologies. The cabin is well lit with digital speedometer, and 4.2-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) touchscreen infotainment system compatible with Apple Car Play, Android Auto and MirrorLink function. Dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlamps, wireless charging, rain-sensing windshield wipers, eight airbags, all comes as standard in the Prius. Driver aids include ABS with EBD, emergency braking, lane assist, pedestrian detection system, cruise control, parking assist, and heads up display.
The Prius hybrid is powered by a 1.8-litre four cylinder petrol engine that has been paired with an AC synchronous motor. The conjunction is mated to an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT). It features improved batteries with higher energy density; smaller electric motors, with higher power density than the previous Prius motors; and the gasoline engine features a 40 per cent more thermal efficiency. The fuel economy has improved on average by about 10 per cent over the previous generation as Toyota expects the Prius to average more than 40kmpl.
When introduced in India, the Prius will take the CBU route. At present, there is no direct rival to the Prius in the Indian market. The expected price for the global hybrid in India is an estimated to be a tad under Rs 40 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).