Toyota is introducing a series of new design and equipment features to take its multi-award winning Prius into the New Year. The world’s cleanest family car is adopting a fresh face for 2006 with changes to the styling of its headlamps and rear light clusters and a restyled front grille.
Inside the cabin, comfort for passengers has been improved, with an adjustment to the hip point for those sitting in the back. Quality, one of the fundamental elements of all Toyota models, has been raised further with new upholstery colours, a soft-touch paint finish for the dashboard and the introduction of a leather-trimmed steering wheel across the range. A new leather upholstery option has been made available, replacing the previous combination of leather and suede-effect Alcantara, and three new metallic paint finishes – Vermillion Red, Verbier Green, and Tyrol Silver. A fourth new colour, Decuma Grey, will follow in April.
The Prius is one of the world’s most technically advanced cars, with its clean and supremely efficient hybrid powertrain, by-wire functions for the throttle and automatic transmission, and fuel-efficient electric power steering. Owners now have the chance to increase the level of technical wizardry with an option package for T Spirit models that includes a rear parking monitor and Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA).
The parking monitor uses a rear-mounted miniature TV camera to show the driver the area immediately behind the vehicle. This can be overlaid with guidelines to make reverse manoeuvres simpler and safer.
IPA can provide even greater assistance for reverse parking manoeuvres. Where space permits, the system will help the driver steer the Prius into a parking space. After positioning the car at the appropriate angle and within required safe distances from neighbouring vehicles, IPA will calculate the correct course and engage the necessary steering angle for the manoeuvre automatically. The driver must control the throttle and brake during this procedure.
The new-look Prius will be available from 1 January 2006, priced from £17,795 on the road, an increase of just £250 over the current model. The Intelligent Park Assist is available as a £400 option on the T Spirit model only.