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2019 Prius teaser hints at all-wheel drive for US market

by Justin King

The Prius has already been available with AWD in Toyota's home market for a few years.

Toyota has released a teaser photo for the 2019 Prius, scheduled to make its official debut later this month in Los Angeles.

The image shows the hybrid blasting through the snow, suggesting the refresh will benefit from all-wheel drive.

"Fall is here, winter's near, but the 2019 Prius performs on roads whether snowy or clear," the company says.

Notably, the Prius is already built for all-wheel drive but the grippier drivetrain is only available outside the US. Known as E-Four, the system uses an electric motor to propel the rear wheels instead of the engine.

The hybrid AWD system focuses on efficiency, only engaging the rear motor when conditions can benefit from four-wheel drive. Toyota previously claimed the AWD-equipped Prius was more efficient than the third-generation 2WD model, though specific details for the US-market edition have not been disclosed.