Remember how a few months ago I said that Toyota, and specifically the Prius, needed to step up their game if they want to stay on top? Well it would appear that they are doing just that, as rumors circulate the Internet thatToyotawill debut the 107 MPGe Prius Plug-In at the Frankfurt Auto Show in a few weeks.
A few people have had access to the Prius Plug-In in the past few years, but Toyota has been mum on what kind of rating to expect. Well now word is that the Prius Plug-In will deliver15 miles of all-electric driving, and judging by the few test drives that reviewers have landed, better-than-average-Prius gas mileage.
AutoCar claims that the production trim Prius Plug-In will debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show with a 128 MPG UK rating, which comes out to about 107 MPG in US standards. Since it’s a plug-in hybrid like the Chevy Volt, it will likely be rated under the same MPGe standard, which may or may not impact the MPGe rating. The Prius Plug-In will also almost halve its current CO2 emissions by half, falling from 89 g/km to just 49 g/km. Refilling the battery pack is only expected to take about 90 minutes.
Toyota hopes to sell about 17,000 Prius Plug-Ins in the U.S. in 2012, joining the Prius V as an expansion to the Prius lineup. Toyota’s idea of going with a smaller battery and more limited range means less weight and a lower price than the competition, which could translate into a significant edge. Early estimates place the price of the Prius Plug-In between $26,000 and $32,000, before tax credits.
However, there’s more competition now than ever before, and the Prius Plug-In won’t be the only option fuel-conscious consumers will have. The Prius name still carries a lot of weight though, and Toyota’s slow-but-sure methods have paid off so far. I still feel like they need a greater sense of urgency when it comes to these next-generation vehicles. However, this Prius Plug-In could rewrite the rules for plug-in hybrids if it proves a sales success. Are you excited about this new Prius, or are you more interested in other offerings?
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.