2016 Toyota Prius rendering
“TOYOTA fourth-generation Prius Exposure! Hybrid, PHV Two Kinds of Style for the Choosing,” reads the Google Chrome–translated headline from AutoNet, a Taiwanese website claiming to have specs and details on the 2016 Toyota Prius. As with any leak, but especially those parsed via browser-based translation software, take everything you’re about to read with a Taiwan-sized grain of salt (only one kind of style for the choosing, sorry). According to the report, and as expected, two Prius models seemingly will be offered again, a regular hybrid and a plug-in hybrid, and many more alleged details are included in the leak.
2016 Toyota Prius PHEV rendering
AutoNet seems to be working on the assumption—or information—that the new Prius will come only with lithium-ion batteries, while the plug-in version will presumably utilize a larger lithium-ion pack to return more than 30 miles of electric-only driving range. This stands in contrast to reporting by Automotive News that suggests base Priuses will use the same old-tech nickel-metal-hydride batteries as today’s model, while a lithium-ion pack would be offered for the first time but as an option. Interestingly, the Taiwanese report also indicates that the plug-in Prius will sport more differentiation in terms of styling and that the general look will mimic that of the attractiveness-challenged Toyota Mirai fuel-cell vehicle. The regular Prius will wear sleeker headlights and a generally less guppylike face, but its tadpole-shaped body will remain familiar. (Head over to AutoNet to see more photos.)
If the intel holds, every 2016 Prius will utilize a 90-hp electric motor and a 105-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder to power the front wheels via a planetary gearset CVT. Total system output will be in the 145-to-150-horsepower ballpark, or roughly 10 to 15 more than before, and the plug-in will boast a range per tank that could exceed 600 miles. Dimensionally, the 2016 Prius will be slightly larger than the car it replaces, being 2.7 inches longer overall and one inch wider. The wheelbase and height remain the same at 106.3 inches and 58.7 inches. Weight is claimed to drop by nearly 200 pounds for the regular Prius, which would put it around 3000 pounds if we use our as-tested weight for the outgoing car as a starting point. We already knew that the Prius is transitioning to Toyota’s TNGA modular architecture, which promises to be lighter than the automaker’s existing compact front-drive platforms, but the Prius’s weight-loss number is impressive—if true. We’ll find out how much of this report holds up when the Prius officially debuts later this year.