The Toyota Prius+, already Europe’s market-leading seven-seat hybrid MPV, is getting what is really slightly more than a makeover for 2015 (they call it a ‘regrooming’) by looking at new styling details, new equipment features and new colour choices. It is hoped that these first major changes since the launch of the Prius+ in 2012 will give the car a stronger look in keeping with Toyota’s latest design cues as well as continuing the European dominance. It should; after all it is currently Europe’s ONLY seven-seat hybrid.
THE DESIGN PLANS
Toyota have looked at the front-end of the Prius+ and it now features a new upper grille, a more prominent Toyota badge right along the bonnet’s forward line, and new LED headlights which use a cylindrical projector when emanating both high and low beam. The slim profile of the headlights cased in contrasting black and chrome plating it is hoped will give the Prius+ a distinctive sharp-eyed appearance.
Like the latest Toyota models, the lower grille of the Prius+ 2015 model will adopt a trapezoid shape in a gloss black metallic finish to give an increased impression of width reinforced by a re-working of the bumper corners; and at the back there’s a new combination lamp design with “light guide” treatment and red inner lenses that give the car an individual lighting signature as well as more styling changes as on the front including a new licence plate trim and bumper with an integrated diffuser.
THE COLOUR PLANS
In Europe, Toyota are introducing two new body colours to the Toyota Prius+ range: Dark Sherry metallic and Attitude Black mica. Whether these will be available in the UK is yet to be decided but will be announced later.
CHANGES TO THE INTERIOR
It’s not just the outside that gets a freshening up. In the cabin the designers have added a dark silver metallic finish to the driver’s switchgear and the air conditioning dial control, a chrome finish to the door handles, two new chrome-trimmed, slim-line air vents to the centre console and a new 4.2” colour TFT information screen that is controlled by using the switchgear on the steering wheel. This information screen will display basic information such as clock, trip indicator and cruising range fuel consumption, as well as the housing information via the Hybrid System Indicator and Energy monitor; something that is common to all of the hybrids in the Toyota range. For the more info-aware amongst drivers, the screen will also provide information from a new “Eco Judge” function that gives a points score for the eco-driving of the driver in an effort to help the driver maximise the powertrain’s efficiency: look at it as the judging panel on Strictly!
The driver will also be able to view and control the settings for the air conditioning and the audio as it will be in sight during drivetime.
THE TECHNOLOGY PLANS
The 2015 Prius+ will be fitted, as standard, with the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system that includes touchscreen control, Bluetooth and a reversing camera. If so wished, this can be upgraded to the Toyota Touch 2 with Go to allow access to additional satellite navigation, live traffic information and, via Toyota’s online portal, an expanded range of connected services, text-to-speech function and 3D city modelling with landmark graphics.
THE EQUIPMENT PLANS
Toyota plan to upgrade the Prius+ equipment to feature electric seat adjustment, a front centre armrest and Intelligent Park Assist, as well as upgrades to safety features by introducing an emergency brake signal to trigger all side indicators in the event of sudden braking and Hill-start Assist Control which will be automatically activated when the car detects an uphill gradient.
The handling of the Prius+ and the ride that a driver can expect are also to be improved as Toyota will be making adjustments to the suspension damping force, and it will be a more comfortable ride with new sound absorption material being introduced into the side of the rear compartment to reduce noise intrusion in the cabin.
And finally, when it comes to the hybrid powertrain, this will be upgraded to comply with Euro6 emissions standards.
When more details on the on-sale date, and the actual UK model range and specifications, we will, of course, be supplying them here on this blog.