The new 2019 Toyota Prius made its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday (November 28).
The new Prius is the first Toyota to benefit from Hybrid AWD-i, an electric all-wheel-drive system.
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 11 km/h, and when sensors detect low-grip conditions – wet and slippery road surfaces – at speeds between 11 km/h and 70 km/h.
The unit is compact and lightweight, with no centre differential or front-to-rear driveshaft, so there is minimal intrusion in boot space and little compromise in Prius’s exceptional fuel economy and low emissions.
The Hybrid AWD-i model also features a new, compact nickel-metal hydride hybrid battery designed for cold weather performance, while the front-wheel-drive Prius is equipped with a new lithium-ion hybrid battery.
Toyota has also made a number of physical changes to the hybrid, with the peak point of the bumper raised.
The 2019 Prius also features slim new headlight units, with a new inverted trapezoid shape integrated in the tailgate around the license plate.
In the cabin, changes have been made 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 added to the head-up display functionality;
- A multimedia touchscreen that offers faster response and can be operated using “pinch and flick” gestures familiar from smartphone use.
Toyota South Africa has confirmed that new 2019 Toyota Prius will be available in the first quarter of 2019.
Local specification and AWD-i availability is to be confirmed closer to launch.