Prius owners can now haul a light trailer, thanks to improved heat management in the electric motor and differential.
Toyota Prius owners in the UK will soon be able to haul a trailer or caravan behind the fuel-sipping hybrid.
The fourth-generation Prius has a maximum towing capacity of 725 kg (1,598 lbs) for both braked and brakeless trailers. Necessary equipment, including the towing hitch and wiring harnesses, are now available among Toyota's range of official accessories.
"Most of the connecting hardware is concealed behind the lower lip of the rear bumper, so the clean lines of the rear of the car are preserved," Toyota notes.
The latest Prius focuses on improved fuel efficiency, rather than increased power output over the third-gen model. Heat management appears to be a bigger problem than the car's modest 121 horsepower and 106 lb-ft of torque, requiring engineers to tweak the electric motor and differential to handle extra load.
Unsurprisingly, the company does not directly offer the same towing hardware for US buyers. There are several aftermarket hitches available from third-party companies for older Prius models. It is presumably only a matter of time before Curt and others build a similar Class 1 offering for the new design.