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Frankfurt 2015: Another Look At The 2016 Toyota Prius

Hans September 18, 2015 12:21

When the all-new, fourth generation 2016 Toyota Prius was unveiled in Los Angeles last week, Toyota didn’t provide many details of the car, which will only go on sale in the US next year. At the Frankfurt Motor Show – the first public showing of the all-new Prius, we managed to get a closer look at the all-new Prius.

Toyota is still not saying much about the car, other than the petrol engine will deliver more than 40 percent thermal efficiency – a world’s best for a petrol engine. Details on the new engine, new traction battery and hybrid system are still unknown.

As reported earlier, the all-new Prius is the first Toyota to be built on the company’s latest Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which Toyota says will deliver a better driving experience, as well as improving production efficiency at its plants.

There’s also a new double wishbone rear suspension system that’s been intelligently designed to not intrude into the rear boot.

The styling theme for the exterior body is clearly intended to form a link with Toyota’s flagship alternative energy car – the hydrogen fuel-cell electric powered Mirai. Just like previous Prius models, the styling of the all-new Prius is going to polarise the public.

More on the all-new 2016 Toyota Prius here.

Here’s what else we’ve learned after seeing the all-new Prius up close.

Higher range models of the Prius come fitted with a radar-managed Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and a pedestrian detection function for the Pre-Crash Safety system. Seen here neatly integrated into the grille are the transponder units for the ACC and Pre-Crash Safety system. There’s also four parking sensor cells on the front bumper.

The rear boot is still as user-friendly as the previous Prius, with a low loading height, wide cargo opening and an elevated top thanks to a tapering roofline. The rear seats still spilt and fold flat 60:40.

The rear seats offer just as much legroom as before, if not more, with the same flat-floor construction.

In front, it appears that the previous Prius’s signature ‘Touch Tracer’ feature for the steering wheel-mounted control buttons – which projects a mirror image of the steering wheel buttons on the instrument panel when touched, have been removed from the all-new Prius.

There are now additional buttons on the steering wheel for speed limit warning, Lane Departure Alert, and a button that appears to activate a safety warning sound for pedestrians when the vehicle is operating quietly in EV mode (ACC or distance control-like functions usually have a slightly different symbol).

The controls for the electrically operated side mirrors have also been moved from the lower dashboard to the driver’s side arm rest on the door. The move was required to make way for the buttons to control the Heads-Up Display (previously mounted on the upper dashboard), Park Assist, Automatic High Beam, instrument panel brightness, and traction control.

The previous car’s three individual Drive Mode buttons for Eco, Power, and EV driving mode have now reduced to two - one Drive Mode button, presumably for Eco and Power mode, and another button for EV mode.

The centre console panel is decorated with white painted plastics, and features a wireless Qi charger for mobile devices.

The third generation Prius had a signature two-tier ‘bridge-like’ centre console that was cantered towards the driver, but that many buyers didn't like that feature and it has been removed in the fourth generation model. As a result, the previous car’s signature gear knob is now replaced with one that’s mounted on the centre stack, like the second generation Prius.

Also gone are two-tier opening glovebox, as well as the thin centre air-conditioning vents which gave the previous model (below) a very clean, uncluttered look.

More details on the all-new 2016 Toyota Prius will be announced when we get closer to the car’s commercial launch date next year.

2015 Frankfurt Motor Show: All-New 2016 Toyota Prius Gallery

2016 All-New Toyota Prius in Los Angeles Gallery

About Hans

As someone who appreciates cars not just for their horsepower value but also for their cultural significance, he is interested in the art of manufacturing and selling cars just as much as driving them. Prior to swapping spread sheets for a word processor, he spent his previous life in product planning and market research.


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