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Toyota Prius gains AWD option for 2019

Toyota has updated the Prius with the option of intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD-i) for the first time as part of a raft of updates for 2019.

The 2019 Toyota Prius gets the option of AWD-i for the first time

The technology uses an additional, independent rear electric motor to automatically provide rear-wheel drive when pulling away at speeds of up to 6mph, or when low-grip conditions are detected at speeds between 6 and 44mph. Operation is automatic and on-demand.

The system has been engineered specifically for Prius and is said to bring minimal impact on the car’s fuel efficiency and low emissions. NEDC Correlated CO2 is from 85g/km with WLTP combined cycle fuel consumption from 58.7 to 64.7mpg. This compares to 75-84g/km and 59.6-68.4mpg for the front-wheel drive Prius. It’s also been designed for minimal impact on load space, which reduces by 45 litres while retaining a flat floor.

The updates also see the Prius get fresh styling elements, new interior trims and enhanced equipment features, including a larger wireless charging tray, more intuitive and faster operation of the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system and added functionality for the head-up display.

In addition, the new Prius follows the new Toyota RAV4 in adopting the second generation of Toyota Safety Sense, benefiting from new and improved functions. The package includes Pre-Collision System, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert/Lane Trace Assist, Automatic High Beam and Road Sign Assist.

The new Prius with AWD-i will initially be launched in selected Western European markets, including the UK, from the spring. The roll-out will extend to other Central and Eastern European markets in the future.

Details of prices, range and specifications will be announced nearer to the on-sale date.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.