It was exactly 15 years ago that Toyota and the EMA (Environmental Media Association) partnered up to bring the Prius hybrid to Hollywood, a car that went from a complete unknown to a true cultural icon.
The celebration will take place at the 25th annual Environmental Media Awards at Warner Bros Studios in Burbank, California, where the all-new 2016 Prius will be making its Hollywood debut. Joining the Prius on stage will be this year’s honorees: Don Henley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kristin Davis, Van Jones, Zem and James Joaquin.
There will also be a special tribute to celebrate 25 years of excellence in environmental messaging by The Simpson’s TV series.
“The entertainment industry elevated Prius to a cultural icon and made hybrids cool,” argued Bob Carter, senior sales VP, Toyota USA. “Toyota and Lexus are proud to support and celebrate Hollywood’s positive influence and impact on the planet.”
Aside from the all-new 2016 Prius, the event will also host the Lexus NX 300h hybrid SUV, as well as the hydrogen-powered Mirai fuel cell vehicle – set to hit the streets of California this week.
While the Prius might be a real-world automotive icon, the new model does feature different design elements which might turn some customers away from the brand – one of our readers even called it “aggressively ugly”. Sure, not everyone would say that, but more and more car manufacturers are building genuinely good-looking hybrids and EVs nowadays.
It’s conceivable then that the Mirai might actually be Toyota’s wild card here, thanks to its impressive range of 502 km (312 miles), and to having just water vapor coming out of the tailpipe. Besides, there are plenty of environmentally-conscious people out there who would rather drive something truly eco-friendly regardless of looks, than be seen in some gas guzzling SUV or sporty coupe.