Toyota Korea launches Prius plug-in hybrid

Toyota Korea CEO Akihisa Yoshida poses with the Prius Prime during the model’s introduction held at Lotte World Mall in Seoul, Tuesday. / Courtesy of Toyota Korea

By Jhoo Dong-chan

Toyota Korea has opened sales of the Prius Prime, the first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) model introduced by the Japanese carmaker’s affiliate here.

The model was first unveiled to Korea during the Seoul International Motor Show held between March 29 and April 9 at KINTEX in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, where it was equipped with the latest eco-friendly technologies such as a dual motor EV drive system, a battery warming system and two world firsts — EV range-extending solar roof, and gas injection heat pump automatic air-conditioning.

“Toyota Korea will continue expanding its smart hybrid lineup and improving service quality for our customers,” Toyota Korea CEO Akihisa Yoshida said during the Prius Prime introduction event at Lotte World Mall in Seoul, Tuesday.

With an 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery, the Prius Prime has a range of 40 kilometers on a single battery charge under its EV mode, a comparable range to the 46 kilometers of the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV.

A Toyota Korea official said it is far enough for office workers to commute in metropolitan areas.

The official also emphasized that the Prius Prime has the best mileage among PHEV models in the Korean market. It can travel 21.4 kilometers per liter in the gasoline mode and 6.4 kilometers per kilowatt in the EV mode. It emits only 23 grams worth of carbon dioxide per kilometer, living up to Toyota’s eco-friendly corporate commitment.

The Prius Prime is built upon “Toyota New Global Architecture,” the Japanese carmaker’s body frame architecture for lowered the center of gravity and improved vehicle geometry.

Under Toyota’s design identity of “keen look,” the model also suggests a differentiated front face with a pair of quad-LED projector headlamps.

Along with its motor powertrain, the Prius Prime mounts a 1.8-liter gasoline engine that produces a maximum of 98 horsepower. Together with its EV motor, the vehicle produces a maximum of 122 horsepower in total.

The Prius Prime is priced at 48.3 million won without the government’s subsidies of up to 7.7 million won.

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