Toyota has launched the 2019 Prius at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show with a surprise. Toyota’s electric and hybrid flagship vehicle now comes with the new Hybrid AWD-i, an intelligent electric all-wheel drive system that provides the car with better handling.
The Prius nameplate dates back to 1997, which saw the debut of the original electric/hybrid Toyota model. Now, it is dubbed as the first Toyota to benefit from the latest Hybrid AWD-i system. This smart system uses extra high-torque electric motor that transmits power to the rear axle when demanded be. It automatically engages when upon reaching 11 km/h, or when the sensors detect slippery conditions at speeds 11 to 71 km/h.
Made with compact and lightweight materials, the system has no center differential nor front-to-rear driveshaft. As a result of being compact and lightweight, the Prius boasts uncompromised luggage area and almost-unaffected fuel economy, all while attaining low emissions. The weight is achieved by using a compact nickel-metal hydride hybrid battery that can withstand cold weather conditions. In addition, the 2019 Prius now also sits on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) GA-C platform, similar to the ones found in the Toyota CH-R and Lexus UX, which gives the Prius a low center of gravity and higher body rigidity.
Not to mention, all that was made for it to achieve higher performance did not compromise its design. It didn’t stop Toyota from making it look better than its predecessor, even though changes are minor. There are slimmer and sharper headlights with bi-beam LED for a wider field of illumination. Even at the rear, you’ll find a fresh combination of lamps with design light guides. The 2019 Prius is available with two new colors: Emotional Red and Aqua Breeze. There’s also a set of redesigned 17-inch rins and a contrast dark gray finish for the 15-inch wheel caps.
Inside, you may find minor but pretty recognizable changes. Center console elements have been rearranged, as well as the controls in the instrument panel. The cabin has been upholstered with a new cloth material, while the charging tray now features more room to accommodate larger smartphones. A turn-by-turn navigation directions is added to the head-up display, the center console receives a multimedia Toyota Touch 2 display touchscreen that promises faster response with “pinch and flick” gesture controls. Apparently, this does not have Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto compatibility, but maybe it will in the future.
Apart from the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2019 Prius is also bound to make its first European debut at the Brussels Motor Show on January 18, 2019. Now, can we expect to see this one at one of the motor shows in the Philippines next year? We hope Toyota Motor Philippines could give this wish a light.