The countdown to the Los Angeles Auto Show continues as Toyota has released the first teaser image of the 2019 Prius.
Set to be unveiled on November 28th, the updated model will likely be offered with a new all-wheel drive system in the United States. That remains unconfirmed at this point, but the company strongly hinted at the possibility by saying the hybrid is “ready for sunshine or snow.” The automaker also noted “Fall is here, winter’s near, but the 2019 Prius performs on roads whether snowy or clear.”
The decision to offer all-wheel drive on the Prius isn’t too surprising as the Japanese variant has been available with an E-Four all-wheel drive system for years. Cars equipped with the system feature an additional electric motor which sends power to the rear wheels for added traction.
The system is a $1,706 (¥194,400) option in Japan and it is compact enough that all-wheel drive variants have the same cargo space as their front-wheel drive counterparts. However, the model is slightly less efficient as the current Prius E-Four averages 79.9 mpg US (2.9 L/100km / 96 mpg UK) while the standard model is rated at 87.4 mpg US (2.6 L/100km / 105 mpg UK) – according to Japanese specifications.
Getting back to the 2019 Prius, the teaser image isn’t very revealing but it does confirm the facelifted model will keep its controversial design. That being said, the car could have a new front fascia and restyled headlights. The rear end could also be updated with a new bumper and restyled taillights, but the teaser effectively hides these details.
Performance specifications remain unconfirmed, but the current model has a 1.8-liter Atkinson cycle engine that produces 95 hp (70 kW / 96 PS) and 105 lb-ft (142 Nm) of torque. It is backed up by a hybrid system which features an electric motor that develops 71 hp (53 kW / 72 PS) and 120 lb-ft (162 Nm) of torque. This setup gives the model a combined output of 121 hp (90 kW / 122 PS).