The fourth incarnation of the Toyota Prius, the first major redesign in about seven years will make its debut next month in Las Vegas. Oddly, exactly when the new car will hit showrooms or even when it will start production is still up in the air.
September 8th will be Toyota unveils the next-generation Prius to the media, according to what spokesperson Ryo Sakai said to Bloomberg.
The current Prius hatch was released in 2009 and garnered popularity quickly in its native Japan and internationally, going on to be the most popular hybrid car at that time with over 500,000 sold within its first year on the market.
Lack of updates and increased competition from other hybrid vehicles, however, have mellowed its pace. For example, in the first half of 2015 deliveries dropped in its home market Japan by 31 percent, and then new car is aimed at recapturing consumer interest and to also reduce development costs by 20 percent through shared components, platforms, and powertrains.
It will be one of the first Toyota models to use TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture), the end result of which being that it will lower weight by around 100kg and lead to a lower centre of gravity.
The engine that will accompany the 2016 car will improve on efficiency figures but will also be lighter and more compact while the electric motors have higher power densities than before. A new CVT is also expected to improve economy by 10 percent.
The Prius plug-in hybrid model will continue to be offered, so too will the wireless charging system through a companion conductive pad placed in the owner’s garage or driveway. Still unclear is whether there will be a disparity in battery technology. Is Toyota adopting lithium-ion for all variants or retaining nickel-metal-hydride cells in some.
Earlier this month, a video was posted about a next-gen Prius test car driving around San Francisco, covered nose to tail in full camouflage.