2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-in Hybrid Can’t Transform, But It’s Very Efficient

It’s the closest Prius to an all-electric Toyota.

Toyota used the 2016 New York Auto Show to unveil the new, 2017 Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, which will serve as the most fuel-efficient option in the Japanese automaker’s gas-zipping lineup.

The Prius Prime is powered by the same 1.8L hybrid powertrain as the latest Prius hybrid but benefits from a bigger 8.8 kWh battery pack that enables better fuel economy and a greater overall pure-electric driving range of 22 miles (35 kilometers).

Despite being lower than the Chevy Volt’s impressive 53-mile (85 km) EV range, it’s a more usable figure than the previous Prius plug-in hybrid.

The Prius Prime is capable of driving at speeds of up to 84 mph (135 km/h) in EV mode and its battery pack can be fully charged in 5.5 hours when using a standard 110-volt outlet. Plugging into a 240-volt outlet cuts that time by half.

Toyota promises an estimated 120+ MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) in hybrid mode — an improvement of 26 percent compared to its predecessor — and up to 600 miles (965 km) between fill-ups.

Visually, the Prius Prime is distinguished by a Mirai-inspired front fascia featuring quad LED headlights that “glow like diamond” and a rear fascia with restyled, interconnected LED taillights.

It has the same 2+2 seating as the regular Prius but comes with more standard features, including a notably larger, 11.6-inch multimedia screen with navigation and a color head-up display.

Toyota’s Safety Sense P is part of the package and adds such features as lane departure warning with steering assist, pedestrian detection and radar cruise control.

The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid goes on sale in fall 2016. Do you see yourself owning one?