NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Toyota unveiled a new version of its Prius plug-in hybrid with over double the battery-only range of its predecessor.
The automaker showcased the vehicle at the New York auto show on Wednesday almost a year after it halted production of the previous model.
The Prius plug-in will go over 50km (31 miles) on battery power alone, twice as long as the previous version, Toyota said in a statement. Higher speeds of up to 135kph (84mph) can now also be achieved in electric-only mode.
The Prius plug-in will have a 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder gasoline engine that will deliver an estimated fuel consumption of 1.4 liters/100km (167.3 mpg U.S./201 mpg UK), the best fuel efficiency of any current plug-in hybrid, Toyota said. It will emit 32g/km of CO2.
Fuel savings will be up 26 percent over its predecessor due to a larger 8.8 kWh lithium ion battery pack and a new drive system that utilizes the electric motor and generator to produce drive torque, which boosts acceleration and overall performance. The plug-in Prius will also automatically rely on electric power even when not running in EV mode in situations where this proves most efficient.
The boost in battery-only driving betters the maximum 30.5km (19 miles) offered by Ford's Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid and the 26km (16 miles) of the Audi A3 e-tron. But it is less than other plug-in hybrids, such as General Motors' Chevrolet Volt, which gets up to 85km (53 miles) of electric range, and 43.4km (27 miles) of electric range in the Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid.
Toyota described the Prius plug-in as having a "chiselled profile and edgy character lines" that give it a road-hugging stance. The new plug-in is 165mm longer, 15mm wider and 20mm lower than the previous model.
European sales of the Prius plug-in hybrid will begin towards the end of the year, Toyota said.