In 1997, Toyota had introduced its first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, the Prius in established markets like USA. In its fourth generation, the Toyota Prius gets a complete makeover on the design as well as technology front. The new Prius that has been priced at Rs 38.96 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi now has a sharper design language compared to the earlier model, however, it may not appeal to some. It is powered by a 1.8-litre Atkinson's Cycle petrol engine that generates 95 hp of power at 5,200 rpm and 142 Nm of torque at 3,600 rpm.
Read about: Toyota Prius: First Impressions
This engine is paired to a permanent magnet AC synchronous motor that draws its power from a Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride) battery. The motor develops 71 hp of power and 121 Nm of torque taking the combined power of the hybrid powertrain to 121 hp. This petrol/hybrid motor is mated to an ECVT (Electronically Controlled Variable Transmission) automatic gearbox. This technology along with a coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.24 results in an impressive fuel efficiency of 40.1 kmpl (claimed). Incidentally the coefficient of drag of the Toyota Prius is the same as the Tesla Model S.
In terms of safety, the only variant of the Toyota Prius offered in India will be available with ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) and 6 airbags. The gear selector is now smaller in size compared to the earlier version and the hollow space below the centre console is done away with. The central touchscreen infotainment system is now larger than the third generation Prius, however, the split MID or Multi-Information Display has been carried forward. In terms of the price, the Toyota Prius competes with the Honda Accord Hybrid, however, the former is a segment above and the Camry Hybrid that has a price tag of Rs 31.18 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi.