Toyota has been at the forefront of hybrid vehicles since its Prius was released back in 1997. Now it's got a new version of its plug-in hybrid that's been upgraded with a super efficient engine and the return of that solar power roof to deliver some seriously economical driving.

You've probably been in a Prius before, after calling an Uber, and enjoyed the silent driving of pure electric. But that doesn't last long before the engine in the hybrid is helping out.

The new car is way more efficient to help avoid this problem, using its solar roof to charge, a better engine and smart grille system all to save power.

The result is 31 miles of driving in pure electric mode or, with combined driving, an amazing 202 miles per gallon. That also means an environmentally friendly 32g/km for CO2 emissions, which are the best figures yet for any plug-in hybrid car.


Also helping to achieve that level of efficiency are LED headlights and rear lights. The car also boasts an aerodynamic drag factor of 0.24, thanks to things like a double bubble rear window and automatic radiator shutter that closes when not cooling.

The new battery in the Prius Plug-in Hybrid is 8.8W/h and can charge to full in two hours and twenty minutes. Complementing that is an enhanced 1.8-litre four cylinder engine which Toyota says adds up to the car's total 40 per cent efficiency improvement.

In the cabin are 4.2-inch TFT screens, a wireless phone charging bay and a sound insulating screen for a more quiet drive.

Pricing and release date for the 2016 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid have not been announced.

READ: Electric double-decker buses with 180-mile range hit London next month