New 2019 Toyota Prius with intelligent all-wheel drive

Main­tain­ing its dis­tin­guished rep­u­ta­tion for intro­duc­ing new tech­nolo­gies, the new Prius takes the next step in the hybrid dri­ving expe­ri­ence as the first self-charg­ing Toy­ota hybrid pas­sen­ger car to fea­ture all-wheel dri­ve.

The Toy­ota Prius is the world’s orig­i­nal and best-sell­ing self-charg­ing hybrid car, with a her­itage of tech­ni­cal inno­va­tion and lead­er­ship that spans more than 20 years. Since the intro­duc­tion of the first mod­el in 1997, it has tak­en self-charg­ing hybrid pow­er from the mar­gins of the auto­mo­tive world to the fore­front of excep­tion­al­ly effi­cient and clean­er mobil­i­ty for the mass mar­ket.

Prius has been the pathfind­er for Toyota’s intro­duc­tion of hybrid across an exten­sive range of mod­els, from the Yaris super­mi­ni to the RAV4 SUV in Europe. As the foun­da­tion for this suc­cess­ful strat­e­gy, it has also estab­lished new bench­marks for the hybrid tech­nol­o­gy in the wider auto­mo­tive indus­try.

The cur­rent, fourth gen­er­a­tion Prius marked fur­ther advances in refine­ment, dri­ving plea­sure and inno­va­tion and, as the first mod­el built on a Toy­ota New Glob­al Archi­tec­ture plat­form, has realised sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits in terms of dynam­ic per­for­mance, dri­ving rewards, dis­tinc­tive design and improved safe­ty.

Now Prius is tak­ing the next step for­ward in the hybrid dri­ving expe­ri­ence with intro­duc­tion of an intel­li­gent, elec­tric all-wheel dri­ve sys­tem. Option­al­ly avail­able on the new 2019 Prius, AWD-i is a com­pact and light­weight sys­tem that oper­ates auto­mat­i­cal­ly to sup­port the dri­ver in com­mon sce­nar­ios where extra grip is need­ed. The sys­tem auto­mat­i­cal­ly engages when pulling away from stand­still, and at high­er speeds when it detects a loss of trac­tion, for exam­ple on snow, ice and wet roads. The result is a more secure dri­ve in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions and added peace of mind for the dri­ver.

Engi­neered specif­i­cal­ly for Prius, the system’s light weight and elec­tric oper­a­tion have min­i­mal impact on the car’s fuel effi­cien­cy and low emis­sions. Com­pact pack­ag­ing also means lit­tle penal­ty in terms of load space.

Toy­ota has at the same time intro­duced new front and rear styling treat­ments that give Prius a fresh look that adds empha­sis to its clean and dynam­ic appear­ance. New wheel designs and cab­in trims have also been pro­duced, while new equip­ment fea­tures include a larg­er wire­less charg­ing tray to accom­mo­date the new gen­er­a­tion of smart­phones, more intu­itive and faster oper­a­tion of the Toy­ota Touch 2 sys­tem and added func­tion­al­i­ty for the head-up dis­play.

All ver­sions of the new Prius will be equipped with the Toy­ota Safe­ty Sense, pro­vid­ing high lev­el of active safe­ty fea­tures as stan­dard.

The new Prius with AWD-i will ini­tial­ly be launched in select­ed west­ern Europe mar­kets, includ­ing Scan­di­navia, Ger­many, , Bel­gium, , Lux­em­bourg, Italy, Spain, Por­tu­gal, Switzer­land, Aus­tria, the UK and Ire­land. The roll-out will extend to oth­er Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­pean mar­kets in the future.

AWD-i: INTELLIGENT ALL-WHEEL DRIVE – A FIRST FOR A TOYOTA SELF-CHARGING HYBRID

The new sys­tem, AWD-i (All-Wheel Dri­ve -intel­li­gent) has been engi­neered specif­i­cal­ly for Prius, so its oper­a­tion has min­i­mal impact on the vehicle’s excep­tion­al fuel effi­cien­cy and low emis­sions.

It is designed to auto­mat­i­cal­ly pro­vide extra grip when pulling away from sta­tion­ary and in slip­pery con­di­tions, such as on snow, ice and wet road sur­faces. The dri­ver gains extra peace of mind and car con­trol­la­bil­i­ty in more chal­leng­ing dri­ving con­di­tions that are com­mon­ly encoun­tered in Europe, such as wet cob­bled roads, snowy moun­tain routes or snow-cov­ered uphill dri­ve­ways.

AWD-i equips the Prius with an addi­tion­al, inde­pen­dent, mag­net-less elec­tric motor and invert­er, locat­ed on the rear axle and pow­ered by the hybrid bat­tery. The sys­tem auto­mat­i­cal­ly engages to pro­vide addi­tion­al dri­ve to the rear wheels when pulling away, at speeds up to 10 km/h. At high­er speeds — between 10 and 70 km/h — it will come into play, adding torque to the rear axle when sen­sors detect a loss of grip. This pro­vides both peace of mind and extra dri­ving plea­sure. Again, oper­a­tion is auto­mat­ic and on-demand; the dri­ver does not have to select AWD. The sys­tem does not oper­ate in nor­mal dri­ving con­di­tions, or under brak­ing.

Unlike mechan­i­cal AWD sys­tems, there is no dri­ve­shaft between the front and rear axles and no cen­tre dif­fer­en­tial. This saves weight, sup­port­ing Prius’ effi­cient per­for­mance, and takes up less space. Its instal­la­tion only reduces boot space by a mod­est 45 litres, while retain­ing a flat floor for ease of use.

The elec­tric motor is com­pact and effi­cient, pro­duc­ing a max­i­mum 5.3 kW but deliv­er­ing high wheel torque of 570 Nm with a 10.4 reduc­tion ratio. Its per­for­mance does not dimin­ish Prius’ sta­tus as Toyota’s leader in CO2 emis­sions, with WLTP fig­ures as of 99 g/km (77 g/km cor­re­lat­ed NEDC) trans­lat­ing to 4.4 l/100km fuel con­sump­tion. For mar­kets which expe­ri­ence very cold con­di­tions there is a new nick­el-met­al hydride bat­tery avail­able for use in the Prius with AWD-i.

Prius’ self-charg­ing hybrid pow­er­train is unchanged, fea­tur­ing a 1.8-litre, Atkin­son cycle, four-cylin­der 16-valve DOHC petrol engine with Dual VVT-i intel­li­gent vari­able valve-tim­ing, work­ing togeth­er with two com­pact yet pow­er­ful motor-gen­er­a­tors. The engine is an object les­son in effi­cient per­for­mance, achiev­ing a ther­mal effi­cien­cy of 40 per cent through a series of engi­neer­ing inno­va­tions and improve­ments, includ­ing a large-vol­ume exhaust gas recir­cu­la­tion sys­tem, com­bus­tion opti­mi­sa­tion and heat man­age­ment and fric­tion reduc­tion mea­sures. For 2019, Prius adopts a low vis­cos­i­ty engine oil to reduce the pis­tons’ slid­ing resis­tance and so help main­tain excel­lent fuel effi­cien­cy. Emis­sions per­for­mance com­plies with the lat­est Euro 6d stan­dards.

All ver­sions of the new Prius fea­ture a more rigid accel­er­a­tor with a revised inter­nal struc­ture that gives enhanced response with less play. Its pro­file has been adjust­ed so that the sur­face is com­fort­able to use regard­less of the driver’s height, and the stroke has been reduced so less ankle move­ment is required to ful­ly depress the ped­al.

EXTERIOR DESIGN ENHANCEMENTS

The fourth gen­er­a­tion Prius intro­duced a strik­ing new design, made pos­si­ble by the car’s adop­tion of a Toy­ota New Glob­al Archi­tec­ture (TNGA) plat­form which gives the car low­er lines over­all and the design team greater oppor­tu­ni­ties to explore new styling oppor­tu­ni­ties. The design free­dom pro­duced a dis­tinc­tive and ath­let­ic body sil­hou­ette that remains impres­sive­ly aero­dy­nam­i­cal­ly effi­cient.

While Prius’ sig­na­ture styling remains in place, detailed changes have been made that add empha­sis to the clean­ness of its lines, while engag­ing the sens­es more strong­ly. At the front, new, slim­mer, sharp­er head­light units have been intro­duced, help­ing cre­ate a stronger hor­i­zon­tal line that broad­casts the car’s wide and plant­ed stance. These fea­ture bi-LEDs for high and low beam oper­a­tion, LED clear­ance lights and LED day­time run­ning lights. New sock­et-type round fog lights are locat­ed in the low­er grille.

The front bumper has been re-pro­filed to cre­ate a strong pon­toon shape, with the bot­tom edge below the low­er grille giv­en a float­ing effect, fur­ther express­ing the car’s low cen­tre of grav­i­ty. The peak point of the bon­net has been raised to gen­er­ate a coher­ent, flow­ing line down the sides of the car, pro­duc­ing a more dynam­ic, flow­ing sil­hou­ette.

At the rear, new com­bi­na­tion lamps again focus the eye on a strong hor­i­zon­tal line to empha­sise the car’s low cen­tre of grav­i­ty and are fit­ted with new-design light guides and lens­es. Their arrange­ment con­trasts with the ver­ti­cal ori­en­ta­tion of the pre­vi­ous units and the pow­er­ful visu­al effect they gen­er­ate is giv­en fur­ther empha­sis by a new invert­ed trape­zoid shape inte­grat­ed in the tail­gate around the licence plate.

The 2019 changes include the addi­tion of two strong new colours to the range of eight avail­able for Prius – Emo­tion­al Red 2 (more vivid than the pre­vi­ous Emo­tion­al Red) and Ice Blue metal­lic, a clean and high­ly chro­mat­ic shade of blue. The oth­er choic­es are Super White, Grey, Sil­ver and Steel Blonde metal­lic, Atti­tude Black mica and White Pearl pearles­cent.

The entry lev­el Prius adopts a new, more dynam­ic 15-inch wheel­cap design with a con­trast­ing sil­ver and black fin­ish. The five-spoke 17-inch wheel design has a new black and dark grey tita­ni­um-like metal­lic fin­ish.

The new Prius AWD-i is dis­tin­guished by lighter rear pri­va­cy glass and a piano black fin­ish to the cen­tre pil­lar (these fea­tures for left-hand dri­ve mod­els only).

HARMONIOUS INTERIOR STYLING AND QUALITY

The inte­ri­or of the Toy­ota Prius was con­ceived as a space that con­veys peace of mind, being wel­com­ing, qui­et and com­fort­able. The “human tech” con­cept com­bines futur­is­tic and styl­ish ele­ments in a way that is ratio­nal and inge­nious; the tech­nol­o­gy at work may be advanced, but when trav­el­ling in the Prius, dri­ver and occu­pants are at their ease in a cab­in that is com­fort­able and easy to use.

Toy­ota has fur­ther enhanced the qual­i­ty of the inte­ri­or, focus­ing on trim details and new, high-qual­i­ty seat uphol­stery. The cen­tre con­sole has been giv­en a clean­er, con­sis­tent look with a new piano black treat­ment. This extends also to the shift lever sur­round and match­ing inserts in the steer­ing wheel. For con­ve­nience, switch­es for the heat­ed front seats have been relo­cat­ed to the cen­tre con­sole; on mod­els with­out this fea­ture, a small odd­ment tray has been added. The wire­less smart­phone charg­ing tray in the con­sole has been made larg­er (fur­ther details in the equip­ment fea­tures chap­ter).

The fourth gen­er­a­tion Prius intro­duced a new front seat design that offers more com­fort, yet weighs less and takes up less space. They pro­vide a snug fit with excel­lent body hold­ing, help­ing take the stress out of long jour­neys. For 2019, a new embossed uphol­stery fab­ric has been intro­duced for the mid-grade Prius, avail­able in all-black, or a com­bi­na­tion of cool grey with black accents. For added stor­age and con­ve­nience, the front seats have been fit­ted with seat­back pock­ets with a fas­ten­er.

The atten­tion to detail can be wit­nessed in a new mod­ule switch on the driver’s side of the instru­ment pan­el for con­trol of the head-up dis­play (where fit­ted) and the Auto­mat­ic High Beam. By insert­ing a new sep­a­ra­tor between the two but­tons, it is eas­i­er for the dri­ver to select the right one while keep­ing their eyes on the road. It also helps pre­vent the con­trols being acci­den­tal­ly engaged when get­ting in and out of the car. The switch­es for the pow­er win­dows and door mir­ror adjust­ment have also been change to improve their feel when used.

NEW EQUIPMENT FEATURES

Prius’ has a her­itage of tech­nol­o­gy lead­er­ship for Toy­ota, respon­si­ble for intro­duc­ing advanced equip­ment fea­tures that progress to become val­ued and pop­u­lar fea­tures across the wider Toy­ota mod­el range. The improve­ments intro­duced with the new 2019 Prius include equip­ment upgrades that keep pace with cus­tomers’ require­ments for faster, smarter com­mu­ni­ca­tion and access to infor­ma­tion.

The Toy­ota Touch 2 mul­ti­me­dia sys­tem has been improved with the sev­en-inch touch screen now engi­neered to respond to pinch, flick and swipe ges­tures like those used on smart­phones. The zoom lev­el on maps can be change using pinch in/pinch out move­ments and the map can be moved with flick or swipe com­mands. Sim­i­lar­ly, a flick ges­ture can be used to scroll through lists.

As well as being more intu­itive to use, the sys­tem also responds more quick­ly and is now avail­able with voice recog­ni­tion for hands-free oper­a­tion of key func­tions. Bet­ter sound repro­duc­tion can be enjoyed from the audio sys­tem with a new, more pow­er­ful ampli­fi­er and the use of Clari-Fi tech­nol­o­gy to max­imise the sound qual­i­ty from com­pressed music files.

Keep­ing pace with changes in portable device tech­nol­o­gy, the Qi wire­less charg­ing tray in the cen­tre con­sole in the new Prius has been increased in size so it can accom­mo­date phones up to around 160 mm by 87 mm. This makes it suit­able for use with the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of smart­phones, includ­ing the Sam­sung Galaxy and Apple iPhone 8, Xr and Xs. In Prius ver­sions with­out the charg­ing tray, the area is replaced with a non-slip rub­ber mat.

The head-up dis­play avail­able on high­er grade Prius mod­els is an impor­tant ele­ment in safer dri­ving, ensur­ing the dri­ver can access impor­tant data and infor­ma­tion while keep­ing their eyes on the road ahead. The sys­tem has been upgrad­ed to include new turn-by-turn route guid­ance, pro­vid­ing the dri­ver with nav­i­ga­tion com­mands with clear and crisp graph­ics pro­ject­ed onto the base of the wind­screen.

The entry-grade mod­el gains the new-look 15-inch wheel caps, the Toy­ota Touch 2 mul­ti­me­dia sys­tem and new high-qual­i­ty cloth uphol­stery. Oth­er stan­dard fea­tures include dusk-sens­ing bi-LED head­lights with Auto­mat­ic High Beam, fol­low-me-home func­tion and inte­grat­ed fog lights, dual-zone auto­mat­ic air con­di­tion­ing and a revers­ing cam­era. The 2019 Prius fea­tures Toy­ota Safe­ty Sense as stan­dard with Pre-Col­li­sion Sys­tem (includ­ing Pedes­tri­an Recog­ni­tion), Adap­tive Cruise Con­trol, Lane Depar­ture Alert with steer­ing con­trol, Auto­mat­ic High Beam and Road Sign Assist.

The new mid-grade Prius adopts the new 17-inch alloy wheel with con­trast black and dark grey (tita­ni­um-like) fin­ish and the head-up dis­play gains turn-by-turn nav­i­ga­tion direc­tions. It also comes equipped with heat­ed front seats, Blind Spot Mon­i­tor with Rear Cross Traf­fic Alert, leather-cov­ered steer­ing wheel and soft-touch trim to the upper door sec­tions.

Joao Lamares
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Joao Lamares

Editor in Chief at JLpress News
Fotógrafo profissional desde 1999, colaborou com diversas empresas, agencias de publicidade e gabinetes de imprensa.
Colaborou com o Blog Fashion Heroines como fashion phortographer.
É o fotógrafo oficial da Colorida Art Gallery.
Fundou a JLpress Sport News and Photo em abril de 2016 onde acumula os cargos de Diretor de conteúdos e fotógrafo.
Joao Lamares
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