LA cur­tain rises on new look Prius

Gloucestershire Echo - - MOTORING NEWS - By DAVID WHINYATES

THE world’s most suc­cess­ful self-charg­ing hy­brid car is be­ing given a thor­ough make-over which should keep it on top of the pile when it is launched next year.

The new 2019 Toy­ota Prius made its pub­lic de­but at the Los An­ge­les Auto Show and comes with new tech­ni­cal fea­tures as well as fresh styling and in­te­rior im­prove­ments.

At the heart of the model is a new in­tel­li­gent, elec­tric all-wheel drive sys­tem. Called Hy­brid AWD-I, the smart sys­tem uses an ad­di­tional high-torque elec­tric mo­tor to pro­vide ex­tra drive through the rear axle when re­quired. It is en­gi­neered to en­gage au­to­mat­i­cally when pulling away, at speeds up to 7mph, and when sen­sors de­tect low-grip con­di­tions, such is in snow or on wet and slip­pery road sur­faces, at speeds be­tween seven and 44mph. The unit is com­pact and light­weight, with no cen­tre dif­fer­en­tial or front-to-rear drive­shaft, so there is min­i­mal in­tru­sion in boot space and, says the com­pany, lit­tle com­pro­mise in fuel econ­omy and emis­sions.

Styling of the new model is evo­lu­tion­ary rather than rev­o­lu­tion­ary. The fa­mil­iar fast­back de­sign has been en­hanced with slim new LED head­light units and a new bumper at the front and new com­bi­na­tion lamps and re­designed tail­gate.

In the cabin there are changes to the cen­tre con­sole ar­range­ment and some of the con­trols on the in­stru­ment panel.

Changes to the equip­ment spec­i­fi­ca­tions in­clude an in­crease in size for the wire­less charg­ing tray to ac­com­mo­date larger smart­phones; turn-by-turn nav­i­ga­tion di­rec­tions have been added to the head-up dis­play func­tion­al­ity and a mul­ti­me­dia touch­screen that of­fers faster re­sponse and can be oper­ated us­ing “pinch and flick” ges­tures fa­mil­iar from smart­phone use.

Euro­pean ver­sions of the new Prius – the fourth gen­er­a­tion of the hy­brid, which is cel­e­brat­ing its 21st birth­day this year – will be un­veiled at the Brus­sels Mo­tor Show in Jan­uary.

The new 2019 Toy­ota Prius made its pub­lic de­but at the Los An­ge­les Auto Show

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