The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid is based on the third generation Prius Hybrid with the significant difference being that it now comes with a 4.4-kWh lithium-ion battery. Reviews have it that this new battery will provide a radical uplift to the Prius's previous all-electric range, and it will now be capable of travelling close to fifteen miles without any petrol powered backup compared to the two miles that was its maximum range with the Series Two.
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Launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011, the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid will begin to arrive at the dealerships in the first fourteen states will be released in the spring of 2012, with Toyota projecting that around fifteen thousand units will be sold in the United States in the coming twelve months.
Not only will the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid's Lithium battery provide a greater range on electric power only, but also the whole process of charging the battery will be simpler and certainly a lot quicker. This new development will enable the Toyota Prius Hybrid Sedan to be re-charged through the electric grid with a full charge taking just ninety minutes.
Apart from the new electric power that the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid will bring, there will be no major changes in the cars' external or appearance and still comes with the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine producing 98 horsepower at 5,200 rpm.
One of the more important features found in the console are a series of three buttons whose role it is to help the driver to manage the Prius Hybrid Sedan powertrain switch over. Pressing the electric vehicle (EV) button will allow the driver to seamlessly switch the car into electric drive mode. When the Prius Hybrid is in solo electric drive mode, the vehicle will only be capable of reaching a maximum speed of less than 25 mph.
The only design features that will be typical for the Plug-in will be its unique grille and bumper design adorned with a new Hybrid Synergy Drive Plug-in badge and matching door handles, as well as outstanding blue accent headlamps, and a distinctively designed tail lamp. The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid will also stand out from the standard Prius by coming in a choice of just five unique colors.
The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Saloon comes with loads of space. More than enough to seat four adults in comfort, and five if they crush in a little. Thanks to the lithium-ion battery, the Prius Plug-in's storage capacity has risen to 443 liters with another 40.5 liters under floor, making an ideal space for storing all kinds of safety extras as well as the Prius's charging cable.