Toyota has added an electric motor at the rear wheels of a new 2019 Prius hybrid model, giving the car all-wheel-drive for the first time. The 2019 Toyota Prius AWD-e was due to arrive at Toyota dealerships early in the new year. Without needing a center differential to distribute power to all four wheels, the third motor powers the rears at launch, up to six mph, “and then whenever needed by traction, up to 43 mph,” according to alternative-vehicles webmagazine Green Car Reports. The all-wheel-drive Prius could account for as much as a quarter of U.S. Prius sales, and be of most interest to buyers in regions across the continental snow belt.
The Prius AWD-e uses an electric motor to drive the rear wheels from a standstill and to aid traction up to 43 mph.