Toyota officially unveils production Prius plug-in hybrid, available March 2012 for $32,000 and the Chevrolet Volt has stolen a lot of thunder from the Prius in the media coverage department, but Prius sales are still continuing strong. The plug-in aims to retain some of those buyers and offer the large existing pool of Prius customers an enhanced option from Toyota and also gains a new lithium-ion battery pack, ditching the older NIMH technology of the standard cars. The plug-in Prius can operate in electric-vehicle (EV) mode for an estimated 15 miles at a speed of up to 62 miles per hour and the plug-in will switch to hybrid mode, providing an estimated 49 miles per gallon. The Hybrid Synergy Drive system in the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is essentially the same as in the current third-generation Prius and new Prius v models……………….
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. announced manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) at the annual Green Drive Expo for two new hybrid vehicles, the Prius v and Prius Plug-in. Since 1997 to present day, the Prius has been the dominant leader in hybrid technology worldwide. In the U.S. alone, the Prius has sold more than one million units since 2000. The all new Prius v and Prius Plug-in are the two newest hybrid vehicles to help make up the Prius Family. A fourth new member, the city-friendly Prius c, will launch in 2012. The first new member of the Prius Family, the Prius v, will meet the needs of growing families with active lifestyles while providing the same attributes traditionally found in the Prius DNA including Toyota‘s Hybrid Synergy Drive. The Prius v will provide 58 percent more cargo space than the Prius Liftback, and at 34.3 cubic feet, it has more cargo room than 80 percent of the small SUVs on the road today. Despite the spaciousness of a family friendly midsize vehicle, the Prius v will deliver estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 44 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 42 mpg combined, the highest fuel efficiency of any crossover, SUV or wagon on the market. The Prius v will have three configurations to help provide an easy ordering process, the value-driven Prius v Two, the well-equipped Three, and the premium level Five. All Prius v models come equipped with a wealth of standard comfort and convenience features including a new 6.1-inch Display Audio system with integrated backup camera, Bluetooth and USB port, 16-inch alloy wheels with wheel covers, single-dial climate control, EV/ECO/Power modes, driver door Smart Key System, instrument panel with driver feedback displays, Toyota‘s Star Safety System, which includes the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC) and Smart Stop Technology, 60/40 split sliding and reclining rear seat, comfortable driver seating with power lumbar support and much more.
The Prius v Three adds standard Display Audio with Navigation and the Entune multimedia system (includes SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 90-day trial subscription, HD Radio with iTunes Tagging and text-to-speech with programmed and customizable test responses). In addition to standard features on the Prius v Two and Three, the Prius v Five adds standard SofTex-trimmed seats, heated front seats, three-door Smart Key, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, fog lamps and more. The base MSRP for the Prius v are $26,400 for the Prius v Two model, $27,165 for the Prius v Three, and $29,990 for the Prius v Five. The Prius v will arrive at Toyota dealerships in late October. The third member of the Prius Family, the first-ever Prius Plug-in Hybrid, combines the benefits of the third-generation Prius Liftback’s Hybrid Syndergy Drive with extended electric vehicle (EV) range, in a package that is priced more competitively than any plug-in hybrid or pure EV on the market. It will feature a new Lithium-ion battery, which supplements the superior fuel economy of the Prius with an extended electric-only driving range of up to 15 miles at a maximum speed of 62 mile-per-hour. By Toyota estimates, it will deliver an estimated 87 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) and when operating in hybrid mode will achieve an estimated 49 MPG3, providing drivers with great fuel economy without range anxiety. The Prius Plug-in also offers convenient charging times of only 2.5-3 hours using a standard 120V outlet or 1.5 hours using 240V. The Prius Plug-in will share many of the same exterior and interior design elements as the 2012 Prius Liftback. Design features exclusive to the Plug-in include unique chrome grille and bumper trim, chrome door handles, unique 15-inch alloy wheels, blue-accented headlamps, a distinct tail lamp design, and a new Hybrid Synergy Drive Plug-in badge. Prius Plug-in Hybrid will be available in two models, the Prius Plug-in and the Prius Plug-in Advanced. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid model comes equipped with an abundance of standard features including heated front seats, Remote Air Conditioning System (which can run either off the grid while the vehicle is plugged in or off the battery like the third-generation Prius Liftback), a charger timer, EV/ECO/POWER modes, three-door Smart Key, Display Audio with Navigation and Entune and an integrated backup camera, LED Daytime Running Lights, 15-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, enhanced Multi-information Display and much more.
The Prius Plug-in Advanced model adds additional standard features including Premium HDD Navigation with Entune and JBL GreenEdge, Plug-in Hybrid Applications through a user’s smartphone (Charge Management, Remote Air Conditioning System, Charging Station Map, Vehicle Finder and Eco Dashboard), Head-up Display, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, LED headlamps with auto on/off feature and integrated fog lamps, SofTex-trimmed seating, an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, Safety Connect and more. The base MSRP for the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is $32,000. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid Advanced will have an MSRP of $39,525. Both Prius Plug-in models are expected to qualify for a federal tax credit of approximately $2,5004. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid will be on sale in 14 launch states beginning this October through Toyota’s Online Order System at www.toyota.com. Vehicle deliveries begin in Spring 2012. The launch states include California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. A national rollout is planned for 2013. The MSRP for the 2012 Prius v and Prius Plug-in does not include the delivery, processing and handling (DPH) fee of $760. The DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary. Leviton, an approved provider of Level 2 (240V) home charging stations, has developed a residential program exclusively tailored for Prius Plug-in customers. Prius Plug-in customers will be able to take advantage of Leviton’s special pricing beginning in early October.