It’s not a great time to launch a hybrid vehicle given the current low fuel prices, but Toyota can’t postpone the all-new Prius any longer.
The automaker has already pushed back the Prius’ launch by six months to fine tune the new vehicle platform and next-generation hybrid system.
With the exception of a heavily camouflaged development prototype spotted in Thailand, Toyota has been successful so far in keeping the upcoming Prius a secret. However, that may not be the case anymore if these apparently scanned images we’ve come across on Taiwanese website Autonet are the real deal.
The pics show two distinct versions: the one with a more conventional styling is apparently the Prius Plug-In Hybrid, while the one with design cues inspired by the Toyota Mirai fuel cell car is the Prius Hybrid. According to Autonet, the fourth-generation Prius Hybrid will debut at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show in October and will offer a fuel economy of up to 40 km/L (2.5 l/100 km or 94 mpg US).
The new Prius will be slightly longer and lower, while retaining the same width (4,550mm × 1,770mm × 1,490mm compared to 4,480mm × 1,745mm × 1,490mm). Interior comfort is said to have improved significantly, with the cabin featuring a similar layout to the Toyota Mirai. Vehicle weight has been reduced to 1,280 kg (2,822 lbs) for the Prius Hybrid (down from 1,393 kg/3,072 lbs) and 1,350 kg (2,976 lbs) for the Prius PHV (down from 1,435 kg/3,165 lbs).
The third-generation hybrid system will consist of a 105hp 1.8-liter VVT-i four-cylinder petrol engine, a 90hp electric motor, a CVT and lithium-ion battery modules. Combined system power is estimated at 145-150hp. Prius PHV will feature a similar setup but with higher capacity batteries, allowing it to cover 50 km (31 miles) on electric power alone and to return 70 km/L (1.42 l/100 km or 164.6 mpg US).
According to the report, the new Toyota Prius will arrive in dealerships in the second quarter of 2016.
Via Digital Trends