When Toyota rolled out the Prius Plug-in to limited geographic markets, it was after making several changes in the production versus the earlier prototype, based on feedback from earlier prototype reviews.
Among the important changes found in the production model are a new and lighter weight lithium battery that is also more compact. The production model also has an EV mode button for ease of driver control in electric mode. The production model is rated to travel as much as 11 miles and up to 62 mph in complete EV mode.
The changes from prototype to production model were not all power-focused. There were also a few cosmetic changes, such as an upgraded front fascia from bumper to headlamps to grille and fog lamps. Tail lamps also got a makeover and 15 in. 10-spoke alloy wheels give Prius Plug-in its sportier look. The right rear quarter panel charge port now sports illumination and a charging indicator light. In addition, the smart key system is operable on three doors.
Going through the prototype exercise wasn't all about adding features, however. Gone from the Prius Plug-in before it hit showroom floors? The distinctive vinyl decals found in the prototype.