HYBRIDS are taking a new turn with Toyota and Ford making changes to their petrol-electric models.
Toyota is adding a four-wheel-drive system to the Prius and Ford is introducing a hybrid powertrain on the Mondeo estate.
The electric AWD system will be an option on the Prius and is designed to give the car extra grip in poor conditions.
It will be available in the spring and comes as the Japanese car maker makes subtle changes to the Prius' design inside and out.
All new versions of the Prius will come with Toyota's latest safety systems including an upgraded frontal anti-collision set up and road sign recognition.
The new models have a different front bumper and new-look light clusters all round while inside the updates include a larger phone charging pad as well as new trim and updates to the head-up display to include navigation instruction.
Toyota says the 4x4 set up does not impact on the Prius' fuel consumption which sees it come with emissions as low as 85g/km and a fuel return between 58.7 and 64.7mpg under the new WLTP regulations.
Meanwhile, Ford has announced a hybrid Mondeo estate powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor which together develop 187ps.
Targeted emissions for the hybrid estate are 103g/km which equates to 63.3mpg while the existing four-door Mondeo hybrid is rated at almost 67mpg with a CO2 figure of 98g/km.
Unveiling the new Mondeo at the Brussels Motor Show, Roelant de Waard, Ford's European marketing, sales and service vice-president, said he expected to the new hybrid to account for up to 50 per cent of Mondeo estate sales.
"The Ford Mondeo Hybrid offers a unique driving experience with its refined automatic transmission and ability to pull away silently. Combined with the benefits of a low CO petrol engine we expect the hybrid to account for up to 50 per cent of sales," he said.
Ford also announced it was to introduce its new 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission to the Mondeo.
Two versions of the ultra-clean engine will be available offering either 150 or 190ps with emissions of 127 and 133g/km respectively.
Prices for the new Mondeos and the AWD Prius are still to be announced.