2015 Frankfurt Motor Show LIVE: 2016 Toyota Prius image
The model will reach dealerships towards the end of the year starting with its home market in Japan and then hitting North America and Europe with a unique styling that borrows cues from the Mirai fuel cell vehicle and still keeps the traditional wedge shape. The fourth generation Prius will also be the first model to deploy the new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) which should underpin almost all new Toyota and Lexus vehicles from now on. Specifically for the Prius, the TNGA will deliver a 60 percent improvement in terms of rigidity and boasts a lowered center of gravity for increased dynamic stance and overall improved comfort. The powertrain is also positioned lower compared to the predecessor, though Toyota has refrained from delivering too much detail in that respect – they do claim an improvement of 10 percent in terms of fuel economy and a boost of the thermal efficiency to at least 40 percent from 38.5 percent.
The hybrid setup has numerous components that are smaller and more compact and the new battery has kept the nickel-metal hydride arrangement while occupying less space and delivering better durability and charging performance. The dimensions have also been updated – it’s 6 cm longer, 1.5 cm wider and 20 mm lower with the increased size benefiting interior space both in the cabin and trunk. There’s also a completely new front suspension and rear double wishbone setup and numerous safety and assistance systems – from pre-collision system to the Europe-exclusive road sign assist system.
While we’re waiting for those crucial fuel efficiency ratings and electric range we can also say the Prius will come with seven body colors, including an interesting Hypersonic Red hue and the interior features the traditional center-mounted instrument and dash arrangement, featuring a generous display for the infotainment system and a new three-arm steering wheel, while the tiny gear lever has become a regular.