Whether or not this is due to Toyota's collaboration with Subaru on the Crosstrek PHEV, I think it's long overdue:
https://www.greencarreports.com/news/11 ... show-debut
Toyota teases all-wheel-drive Prius for LA auto show debut
. . . In studying the picture the company teased, with a Prius churning through the snow, it’s hard to come to another conclusion. The automaker says in a greeting-card-like teaser: “Fall is here, winter’s near, but the 2019 Prius performs on roads whether snowy or clear.”
Refreshed styling is also due for the Prius lineup, which will as a whole inherit more of the Prius Prime's styling cues. Many found the design of the Prime to be more cohesive and eye-pleasing, so that's a good thing.
For years, Toyota has sold a version of the Prius in its home market (Japan) called the E-Four, which retains the same two-motor Toyota Hybrid System up front but adds a third motor at the rear wheels, for rear traction, stability, and additional regenerative braking.
In the Prius E-four, the electric motor in back generates just 5.3 kilowatts—just over 7 horsepower. And now the parent company is sending this same system—and motor output—to the U.S. in the all-wheel-drive Lexus UX250h. . . .
If this is an AWD Prius, we’ll have plenty of questions—like whether adding that rear motor actually helps or hurts fuel economy. Check back for more in a few weeks, as we report from the show.
Assuming the Prius really will have an AWD option, the question is will the Prime also?