Toyota Prius 2020 Edition gives hybrid a 20th birthday blackout

Toyota's Prius turns 20 in the US this year, and the automaker is marking the milestone with a special-edition of the hybrid. Only 2,020 of the 2021 Prius 2020 Edition will be produced, the automaker says, with some key changes that Toyota fans will probably spot from across the parking lot.

Toyota starts out with the Prius XLE FWD, and finishes the car in either Supersonic Red or Wind Chill Pearl. That includes a color-keyed rear spoiler, together with various black exterior trim and detailing.

So, there are 17-inch alloy wheels with black inserts, along with black headlight components and trim. The B-pillars are finished in black, too, along with the mirror housings. Features like bi-LED headlamps and LED rear combination lamps are standard.

Inside, there's matching black to the shift knob and A-pillar trim, together with "2020" insignia key glove/fob and floor mats. Finally, the HVAC vents get a smoked finish. Standard is a heated SofTex-covered 8-way power driver's seat, Qi wireless phone charging, a 7-inch touchscreen audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Amazon Alexa integration, and a heated steering wheel.

While only a limited number of drivers will find themselves in the Prius 2020 Edition, one of the big changes for the 2021 model year will impact all Prius sold. Toyota is making Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) standard, an upgrade from the previous TSS-P.

That includes a Pre-Collision System with Low-Light Pedestrian Detection, full-speed adaptive cruise control, bicyclist detection, and lane departure alerts. Automatic high beams and road sign assist are part of TSS 2.0 too, and there's blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alerts. Finally, parking assistance with sonar sensors is standard on all 2021 Prius as well.

As for the drivetrain, that pairs a 1.8-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine with two motor-generators, combined via a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Though not a plug-in hybrid, it does allow the Prius to shut the engine off when not required, and drive as much as possible on electric power alone. Regenerative braking charges the car's batteries while slowing.

Altogether, Toyota says we can probably expect 52 MPG on the combined cycle from the car. No word on pricing at this stage for the 2021 Prius 2020 Edition, but the 2020 Prius XLE currently starts at $28,375.