Twenty-two years ago, a high-tech sedan rolled into U.S. Toyota dealerships and forever changed the automotive industry. The 2001 Prius, Latin for “To Go Before” became the world’s first production hybrid car and ushered in a new generation of vehicles that combined an electric motor with a high efficiency engine to squeeze more miles out of every gallon. Now, over two decades later, this legendary nameplate is ready to yet again show it is at the forefront – with the reveal of the all-new 2023 Toyota Prius and Prius Prime at a kickoff event the eve of the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show at the LA Convention Center.
“As a company, we set our sights on developing a new Prius for the future, and our design and engineering teams really delivered,” said Toyota group vice president and general manager Dave Christ. “The weight of the Prius name is heavy – it carries with it the identity of an entire category of vehicle powertrain. We’re confident the all-new 2023 Prius and Prius Prime will continue this important legacy.”
Since the original Prius launched, the automaker envisioned a world where hybrid-powered fuel efficiency was not the alternative, but rather the norm. Now, with over 5 million units sold in North America, and over 20 million globally, Toyota hybrids are not only a common sight, but they have made a difference too, preventing over 82 million tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere. With the addition of the most fuel-efficient Prius to date, achieving a manufacturer estimated 57 MPG combined fuel economy rating on the LE FWD model, this Toyota hybrid brings accessible electrification to drivers everywhere.
As part of Toyota’s diverse approach to carbon neutrality, the Prius hybrid is part of lineup that looks to move “beyond zero”. With ten hybrids, two plug-in hybrids, the new bZ4X battery electric vehicle, and zero emission hydrogen fuel cell technology Mirai, Toyota is committed to finding highly efficient and zero emission solutions that fit customers lifestyles across the US. As a symbol of that commitment, the 2023 Prius will be the first Toyota vehicle to wear a new “Beyond Zero” badge, a global effort to achieve carbon neutrality in our products, manufacturing, and beyond.
The price and on-sale date of the exciting, all-new 2023 Prius will be announced later this year.
For this latest Prius, the goal was to create a vehicle that not only met the practical needs of today’s customers, but also had emotional appeal. Available in LE, XLE and Limited grades, the 2023 Prius is built on the second-generation TNGA-C platform, offering a low center of gravity with reduced weight and increased rigidity compared to the previous generation. The result? A wider stance and a lower driving position that feels nimble, yet comfortable.
Designed in Japan, the all-new Prius offers a style that is modern, progressive and understated from the inside out. With its piercing silhouette that evokes a level of aerodynamic flair, the new Prius lowers the roofline 2-inches from the prior generation, for a more athletic look. Moving to the rear of the vehicle it is nearly 1-inch wider, adding a dynamic look to its modern style.
The larger wheels available on XLE and Limited also catch the eye – resulting in a sporty look while also that offers drivers added performance and handling. Additionally, the hip point is about one inch lower than the previous generation Prius, while the battery placement is optimized for a low center of gravity and enhanced luggage capacity.
When it comes to performance, Prius is purpose-built. The new hybrid system enhances both the fuel economy and driving performance with increases to both engine and battery output. The acceleration feel and vehicle handling have also been enhanced, providing a driving feel and accelerator response unique to electrified vehicles.
Under the hood is the 5th generation hybrid powertrain coupled with a larger 2.0L engine and a newly developed lithium-ion battery, located underneath the rear seat. On AWD models, an Electronic On-Demand AWD system has been adopted which uses a motor to drive the rear wheels, enabling stable driving performance when starting off and when driving on slippery road surfaces such as snow. The newly developed lithium-ion battery pack offers a 15% increase in output compared to the previous generation Nickel Metal battery – reducing the size and the weight.
The result is an engaging acceleration experience with 194 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 7.2 seconds for the Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) models. This is a 26% improvement compared to the outgoing FWD model of 9.8 seconds.
For All-Wheel Drive (AWD) models, Prius offers 196 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 7.0 seconds. A high-output IPM (Interior Permanent Magnet) motor has been adopted for the rear motor on AWD models, allowing for a compact design that enhances the low traction road climbing performance and the stability when turning.