Toyota has unveiled its new Prius Hybrid AWD-i model at the Los Angeles motor show as part of a range update.

It is the first Toyota to be fitted with the brand’s electric all-wheel drive system and Toyota claimed the system – which adds an electric motor to the rear wheels – makes the car more surefooted than before.

The Japanese brand claimed it has been  engineered to engage automatically when pulling away at speeds up to 7mph and when sensors detect low-grip conditions, such is in snow or on wet and slippery road surfaces at speeds between 7 and 44mph.

Toyota said the unit is compact so there is “minimal intrusion” in boot space and “little compromise” in the Prius’s fuel economy and emissions figures, however, updated statistics have not been released at this stage.

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Away from the introduction of the four-wheel drive variant, Toyota has made a host of minor tweaks to the popular hybrid as part of the 2019 model year range. These include slimmer headlights and new LEDs that provide a wider field of vision, while the front bumper has been raised.

At the rear, new lights have been fitted, while two new colour options are available – Emotional Red and Aqua Breeze – while inside, the size of the wireless charging tray has been increased to accommodate larger smartphones and navigation directions have been added to the vehicle’s head-up display.