Plug-In Toyota Prius Ready For New York Auto Show Reveal?


2016 Toyota Prius - Conventional Hybrid Version

2016 Toyota Prius – Conventional Hybrid Version

In the lead-up to the New York Auto Show, Toyota released the lone teaser seen above and this statement:

“Toyota Reveals Stand-Out Style, Intelligent Eco-Tech at NY Auto Show – The city that never sleeps is about to get a wake-up call. Toyota is rolling out the next mechanical marvel in the Prius lineup at 9:10 a.m. EDT, Wednesday, March 23.”

While Toyota made no mention of what the “next mechanical marvel” refers to in the Prius lineup, Automotive News speculates the following:

“…the smart money is on a plug-in version of the fourth-generation Prius that went on sale at the beginning of the year.”

Make sense to us, as spy shots leaked a long time ago do seem to line up with the teaser seen above.

This 2nd Gen Toyota Prius PHV Image was Leaked Last Summer (via Mobile.Autonet) Along With The Stn

This 2nd Gen Toyota Prius PHV Image was Leaked Last Summer (via Mobile.Autonet) Along With The First Look At The “Regular Prius” – Which Ultimately Turned Out Exactly Correct

As for Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid specs, we feel rather confident in the following information, which was leaked by a source some 6 months ago:

According to the source, the Prius PHV will be 1,350 kg (2,976 lbs) compared to 1,280 kg (2,822 lbs) for the regular Prius.

The Prius PHV engine is Toyota’s 1.8-liter DOHC VVT-i inline four-cylinder gasoline engine, which puts out 105 hp at 5000 rpm. Another 90 hp comes from the electric motor, for a total 145-150 hp of system power (inputs don’t add up directly). Current PHV is equipped with a 60 kW electric motor.

Around 50 km (31 miles) of all-electric range (in JC08 estimations) was their range estimate posted to around 26.4 km (16.4 miles) for the previous version – or 11 miles (nearly 18 km) of EPA.  In other words, performance will go up (range could nearly double to 20 miles / 32 km EPA), but as always, we still need to wait for confirmation.

We should note that although the original Prius PHV (and this subsequent 2nd generation version) is not revolutionary by any stretch when it comes to what it can do on electricity, it will set a new benchmark in extended range abilities.

More than that however is the brand, and what name recognition can do for market adoption.  The older generation (when stocked) could sell upwards of 2,700 copies in a month with little effort from Toyota (a rare situation in the EV space) thanks to the Prius name – we expect no less from this 2nd generation model.

The 2nd generation Prius PHV has been delayed several times (with the first model going out of production in June of 2015), and has been promised to return his year.  Looking at production schedules and allocations we think ~November/December of this year would be about the earliest the model could arrive.

Source: Toyota, Automotive News

Categories: Toyota

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62 Comments on "Plug-In Toyota Prius Ready For New York Auto Show Reveal?"

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Very interested in this one. Not to buy, but but in terms of features and how it’ll be received by the market.

Same here. Given the success of the previous PiP, without even trying, Toyota could make some serious inroads into the market with this. I hope it sells beyond Toyota’s expectations, and that the buyers all demand even more range for their next one.

Yeah, even though the ev’ers don’t cover this car much it is the second most popular EV in my area.

Ranking is

1). Volt
2). Plug-in-Prius
3). Smart4-2-ev
4). Leaf
5). Tesla or Imiev, not sure which is more. Neither has sold more than a handful.

Since people love their Prius’es it won’t take much to get them into more of the plug-in model, especially since 20 miles is finally better than nothing.

Incidentally Brian, a few days after we had lunch my charger in my volt blew out – same problem you had – but mine blew while only charging 2 hours into a 900 watt charging session.

it’s just a teaser Picture – what do you expect at all !?

Me too. Whatever they come up with will have big implications in the market. As mentioned, this vehicle will likely be in the top 5 EV sales every month even if Toyota puts out an inferior product (as evidenced by the last PiP) But here’s where things get interesting. In the past, Ford’s Energi cars were better than the PiP in nearly every way. But if the new PiP has more range than Ford….. What will Ford’s response be? Who will buy a C-Max then?

I hope they build a pure “EV” that’s worth looking at! Not another Cartoon Car like The Prius…

Please just call it Prius HOV-lane…

So true! It takes about 10 miles to get to the carpool lane, so previous PiP AER was just to get to the carpool lane before burning gas. Since one would drive another 10 miles or so after getting off carpool lane, it’s now “much” better in that only the carpool portion would be burning gas.

Seriously, putting this in same “plug in hybrid” designation as Volt and i3REx (also green sticker) is just wrong.

20 miles AER would be a great achievement… in 1996 !


20 miles? So they will be at 2012 Ford Energi ranges. Sorry.. but

Ha…so true.

Yeah, they don’t want to produce good EVs because that would ruin their hydrogen business.

awesome pic! hahaha

So 6 years after the Volt was released, Toyota will release a plug-in Prius that will have perhaps 60% of the range of the original Volt.

Maybe by 2022 they’ll release a version that actually matches the 2011 Volt! *rolleyes*

If match = range it’ll take a while. But the range is only one question. Key questions are:
– range
– EV power
– EV max speed
– electric heating
– passenger space
– cargo space
– efficiency (electric and gas)
– price

The Gen 4 hybrid’s changes look like they’ve been made with an eye to improving rear space for the PHEV, and I think it’ll be interesting to see where they’ve ended up.

With Volt Gen 2, Bolt, the Model 3 launch, the Hyundai Ioniq, and the Leaf Gen 2 I think the new Prius Plug-in will have to offer _something_ special to hold onto mindshare. A combination of good headline price ($30,999 base?) plus class-leading efficiency plus proper EV capability (highway speed EV and electric cabin heating) would show that they’re serious.

Don’t agree with your comment re: electric heating. Toyota should consider a design that utilizes the existing engine coolant heat storage tank to supply cabin heat when the engine isn’t operating. Explanatory video here:

When there’s no electric cabin heating, then as in the current PiP the engine will run _every_ _time_ _you_ _need_ _cabin_ _heat_. Every short trip, every short commute. (E.g. our 2 mile rt grocery shopping, my wife’s 6 mile round trip commute). That’s _really_ bad if it’s to be more than a CA compliance car, because it means a bunch of short, cold engine runs. It’s bad for pollution and the driving experience.

_Also_ trapping waste heat is good, but electric heating _has_ to be part of any good PHEV.

Once they figure out the proper battery technology (graphene Li-Ion maybe) and get enough charging stations (100,000 instead of 1800 nationally) EV’s price will plummet. EV’s are much simpler. Rememnber, Hybrids have 2 different drive systems that have to be coordinated constantly. Much more complicated to manufacture and service, 1000’s more components due to the Internal combustion engine with it’s emission control baggage.

By 2022 EVs will be dead and everyone will have switched to fuel cell cars.



But only on the Bizarro world.

jello, fuel cells sound ridiculous to most people, but Toyota really seems invested in fuel cells. Given the sky high costs involved and the complete lack of fueling centers in 99.99% of the world, there must be a revenue stream we don’t see.

We could learn a thing or two from the little country of Estonia. The Estonian government and Kredex launched the charging station network project in 2011 in cooperation with ABB, funded partially by the Mitsubishi Corporation.[90][91] The nationwide electric car charging network officially opened with 165 fast chargers on 20 February 2013. These chargers were installed in all urban settlements with more than 5,000 inhabitants. In addition, chargers are installed on the all major roads at intervals of no more than 60 kilometres (37 mi). That makes it possible to reach every point within the country without a supply interruption.[92][93] All of the Terra 51 CHAdeMO-type DC chargers are fast-charging, only needing between 15 and 30 minutes to fully charge a car’s battery.[89]

I am from Estonia and let me tell you, our state EV-policy has been a failure.
We got lucky with selling some carbon quotes for good money and so we built few chargers, which was good (but not enough for future needs) and th and the rest of money went up to 50% or 18000 EUR compensation for early EV adopters. Way, way too high incentives per caer!
Result? Bunch of taxi companies bought themselves few hundred Nissan Leafs and some rich guys got discounts on their Teslas.
And now the money from carbon is finished and last year maybe about 10 Teslas was all EVs there were bought here. And there is no plan in foreseeable future to get any more EV incentives. so we are stuck with aging chargers and no EVs.

I’m sorry to hear that. Thanks for the first-hand perspective on the EV situation in Estonia.

Long time Toyota customer, very disappointed with their plug in options.

Not my next buy neither. Toyota lost its soul by not pushing electrification further as what was initially expected.

Without a fully implemented distribution network to refuel the cars (something like the 180,000 gas stations in the US) Every technology is doomed to failure. The only infrastructure that wouldn’t have to be built from the ground up is electricity. That is where the little country of
Estonia has everyone beat.

There are about 120k gas stations in the USA.

The taillights look better than the ones on the 2016 Prius Hybrid.

I was just wondering yesterday how long Toyota will hold out before offering a competitive BEV model and join this 125- to 200-mile range party. Do they need to wait until they acknowledge that the Mirai is a flop first? They would of course blame it on a lack of infrastructure, as if that was out of their control…

When it’s more profitable to do so.

Or more precisely, when they think it will be profitable to do so. Just like Kodak did in the digital camera revolution. Will Toyota, like Kodak, wait too long to jump in, and never be able to catch up?

BTW — Is your screen name meant to be ironic? It certainly is for your post above! 😉

I think it has been the same even before this site was around, back on cleanmpg 10 years back, perhaps longer in other sites. Good to see him round here.

Yep. 🙂 It’s my “car site” username.

Get real, battery car sales are under 1% of world market and prices well above equivalent gas cars. Who cares about imaginary “revolution” in backyard? And it isn’t similar to Kodak, Toyota uses electric drivetrains and has sold many millions of them over decade, much more than most other automakers. They either start making pure battery cars when battery technology will be ready for mass market cars, or will get fuel cell car prices to the level below hybrid car price in 10 years.

As zs noted, Toyota is not sitting idly by. It is the major hybrid maker, so it has no interest in pushing plug-ins and therefore will only do what it needs to do to comply with regulation, keep mind-share on automotive technology, and avoiding losing enthusiasts to other companies while waiting for other technologies to become more profitable.

(My screen name is both a reference to why I and others purchase hybrids and PEVs, and ironic in the fact that I tend to frugal in particular areas.)

I honestly don’t expect Toyota to come out with any pure EVs anytime soon. I think they have the Mirai to cover their zero emissions mandates. But I think they are going to really need something else in order to meet their PZEV mandates and a decent selling PHEV is the only thing they can do.

Mirai is pure EV. It doesn’t have any gas backup engine. It doesn’t even need backup fracking gas power plant as its fuel can be made from intermittent solar/wind electricity generators can be stored for long time for cheap.

Toyota started putting their “hybrid synergy drive” in almost everything they sold.

Hopefully, they’ll do the same with the Plug-In variants.

The interesting thing to watch will be whether this car will mark the end of the plugin hybrid. It seems that most manufacturers have chosen to bring out what amounts to a beefed up hybrid with a bigger battery.

Whether the market prefers these to a range-extended EV (I.e, i3 Rex or Volt) or pure EV will demonstrate whether consumers appreciate the superiority of an electric drivetrain.

Not everywhere in the world people cover 30+ miles every day to get into their work.

I wonder if GM will have the Bolt at the NY Auto Show.


The Gen1 PiP was basically an HOV-lane option for a Prius. With that now off the table, it’ll be interesting to see if sales for the Gen2 PiP get off the ground.

“(range could nearly double to 20 miles / 32 km EPA)”


Agreed. Kind of sad when you consider that Toyota does know how to make good cars.

Wake me up when Toyota gets serious about EV technology.

Toyota is owned by fossil fuel industry.

If Toyota get serious about this car and selling it they could out sell the volt 3 – 1. If the choice is a top end volt for $38k or a top end PIP for $29k even with a base Volt at $34k people will buy the PIP in the thousands. Nobody will walk into a dealer wanting to buy a cruze and walk out with a volt, people will absolutely do that with a Prius and a PIP.

Gosh, saw a 2016 Prius during my commute yesterday. The owner had not washed it recently, so it was unimpressive. It was indistinguishable from a Honda or Mitsubishi small car. I hope the dress up the plug in a little.

Did it have the melting taillights? Could you distinguish the 1990s Ford Probe C pillar? How about the broken shards of glass headlights that don’t match the motif of the rest of the car?

Don’t get me started on the shiny white urinal console between the seats or the completely incongruous elements of the dashboard, with a shiny black fingerprint magnet center stack that looks a bit like Darth Vader’s helmet….

The Prius is a design disaster. Slapping on different taillights and plastic treatment up front can’t hurt….well, it might – if it looks just as ridiculous.

Why would anyone buy a Prius PHEV with a 20 mile AER?! – Well, anyone BUT former Prius hybrid owners who loved their car when it was cutting edge ( about 5-9 years ago ). There’s a new sheriff in town – and it’s the Chevrolet Volt.

The Prius interior designer must be a fan of the Bold Look of Kohler. 😀

I don’t think this will sell that well if the California legislature does not allocate more green stickers. I honestly believe that there are a significant number of PiP and Energi cars that were purchased purely for the green HOV stickers and may not be plugged in regularly, if at all.

I have seen a number of 2016 Volts with green stickers. The dealers must have applied for them as soon as they were issued VIN numbers because there is no way the owners could have applied for them after delivery.

Already so many PHEV in Californian carpool lanes – it is time to expire the green and only allow the white 🙂

Or create a blue one 50+ miles electric min


If new “hybrid” HOV category is to be made, it should be for a) EV range more than gas range and b) capable of DCFC.

While Volt at 50 miles is an improvement on Prius, it’s still pretty much a gas car and can be used as such (ie, never plug in to use). Indeed, some people / government agencies do use it just like a gas car and never plug in. For now, only “hybrid” that qualify would be BMW i3 REx.

Okay, it’s not leading edge technology but maybe the price will reflect that. In other words, maybe it will be relatively cheap even without subsidy and will attract a lot of buyers, something the really good (and expensive) EVs have yet to do.

“…range could nearly double to 20 miles / 32 km EPA”

Unfortunately, for the PHEV with the smallest all-electric range of any highway-capable plug-in EV passenger car sold in the USA, doubling its embarrassing, tiny electric range still leaves it noticeably behind the average for PHEVs.

“Twice nothing is still nothing.” — Cyrano Jones, Classic Star Trek: “The Trouble with Tribbles”

While some are guessing that this is going to the Prius V, here its indicated as plugin.

Ideally I would expect a plugin since this model is not currently in sale and also this will go head to head with Hyundai-Ioniq.

I am thinking it might be the new Prius C

It’s game over Prius, sorry. 20 miles AER is pitiful in today’s market AND you need to look good doing it.