The 2013 Toyota Prius is already old news, but what about the 2015 Prius? Traditionally, the top-ranked Japanese car manufacturer has introduced a new generation of its iconic hybrid every six years. Thanks to a loose-lipped Toyota engineer, we have insider information on what the fourth-generation Toyota Prius is going to look like, and even better, how it’s going to perform.
By the time you finish reading this article, I think you will agree that other hybrid manufacturers are sure to have some stiff competition coming their way. The engineer claims that “the next Prius will redefine the hybrid as we know it.” By the looks of it, they are absolutely right.
You Think You’ve Seen Fuel Economy?
The Toyota engineer claimed that the next generation Prius will be capable of achieving up to 90mpg. If your jaw is still attached to your face, consider that the 2013 Prius leads the hybrid market with a fuel economy rating of ~50mpg. Of course, for the environmentally concerned, with increased fuel efficiency comes decreased CO2 emissions — the next generation Prius is said toreduce emissions below 70g/km, which is only 20g/km higher than the current PHV models.
How is this drastic improvement in fuel economy possible? Well, there are several factors that come into play. First, the body of the Prius will be completely reworked and the car will utilize the brand new C Platform for the next generation, shedding about 70 kg while maintaining excellent aerodynamics. Second, the Toyota engineer outlined that “the current 1.8 liter engine will be modified, while the inverter and motor will be downsized, but will deliver more power.” In short, the car will be lighter and more efficient.
It should be noted that the normal Prius is the only version seeing these vast improvements; Toyota has thus far been unable to achieve the same dramatic advancements to their plug-in version. But since the current plug-in model is estimated at a phenomenal 134mpge, you can probably forgive the let-down.
What Other Improvements Can You Expect in the 2015 Prius?
Depending on your taste you may not consider it an improvement, but the next generation Toyota Prius will finally wave a tearful goodbye to the iconic wedge shape that has so defined its design for the past 10 years. The new Prius will feature a more pronounced front clip (which seems to be the trend these days), a more distinct roofline and a subtle rear wing. According to the Toyota engineer, “the A-pillar will move backwards and the roofline will be pushed forward by around 500mm.” Perhaps we can see the influence of Toyota’s Chairman and his desire to make cars with more pizazz at work here?
Other than the design improvements, both the plug-in version and the normal hybrid 2015 Prius will feature four-wheel-drive via an electric motor in the rear wheels. Although, engaging 4WD will only be possible at speeds up to 37 mph, so this feature is more to give you a helping hand on a snowy slope than to give you the tools to cross the Serengeti.
All in all, it seems like Toyota is the brand that never sleeps. If what this Toyota engineer leaked is anything close to the truth, then the next generation of Toyota Prius will near double the already excellent fuel efficiency that Prius drivers are enjoying today, which is, frankly, amazing. On top of that, the new Prius actually looks like something you wouldn’t mind being seen driving. I’m left wondering whether perhaps Toyota purposefully leaked this information just to spread fear into the hearts of other Japanese hybrid manufacturers.
Either way, color me impressed.
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