The best selling hybrid vehicle in the world – the Prius – has reached its fourth generation and while it never looked so ugly, there’s a lot to be said about the model before passing judgment.
It may very well look like the (not so handsome itself) Mirai did an unsuccessful facelift with a surgeon that hasn’t practiced in decades, but the truth is from a technical standpoint it’s way better than the previous model. So, kudos to the company’s TNGA (their new generation modular architecture) for being so useful in delivering different models – most of them will be underpinned by it, in the same principle as VW’s MQB platform.
Back to the Prius at hand, one of the more interesting novelties is the optional E-Four, a 4WD system that will also deploy an electric motor attached to the rear axle together with a low-range single-speed transmission. And this is the Toyota way to deliver the an all-weather Prius – which highlights the automaker’s desire to also reach out to customers in parts of the world where snow for example is a constant, not a distant Christmas wish. So far the automaker appears to have skipped the regular prop shaft that would have taken some of the interior space and instead used the E-Four system which was made available by simply redesigning the rear suspension around it.
We know the system has not been confirmed yet by Toyota, but the video below shot by Impress Japan at an official press event is evidence enough and the carmaker will soon be forced to come out clean. When it senses the front wheels have grip issues, the rear electric motor will activate at speeds of up to 70 km/h.
Via Impress Japan