Regardless what you think of the Toyota Prius, it’s an extremely important car for one of the world’s biggest automakers, so it’s quite possible there’s a bunch of angry people flinging phones at walls at Toyota right now, because images of what is possibly the 2016 Prius have just leaked on a Taiwanese website. Oh boy.
The images, which seem to be renders and diagrammatic drawings, show a car that’s a clear evolution of the familiar Prius lozenge-shape, updated with a design vocabulary we’ve seen hinted at in cars like the Mirai and some of Toyota’s recent concept cars.
We’ve reached out to Toyota for comment — while it’s not so likely they’ll confirm or deny anything, we may be able to guess at the accuracy of these based on how infuriated their reply is.
The (alleged) new look is bolder, less anonymous, with lots of crisp origami-ish angles and creases, along with some of those very dramatically-shaped boomerang lights Toyota’s been playing with, as well as a general emphasis on verticality for other light units.
I’m not sure I’d actually say it’s attractive, but it’s at least not that boring, and one version even sports a little suave-guy moustache.
There appear to be two basic versions of the 2016 Prius shown here: Green and Blue. The Green one seems to be the base hybrid Prius, and Blue appears to be the plug-in variant. The blue one shown also has a different front clip, with a horizontal headlight treatment, and a different bumper cap/front intake assembly with a contrasting black color scheme. In my opinion, it’s the better looking of the two, though a little more conventional.
Internally, there’s been some alleged changes as well. Weight is down to 2821 lbs, partially due to the replacement of one of the glass panels in the tailgate with acrylic. The engine is not that different, the 105-horsepower 1.8-liter DOHC VVT-i (likely still Atkinson cycle) and, according to Google’s translation robots, there’s an
... electric water pump, Cool EGR exhaust gas recirculation system and exhaust heat recovery system to increase fuel efficiency and reduce engine warm-up time, with output 90hp hp electric motor and lithium-ion battery output modules, the entire system is about synergy horsepower 145-150hp, combined with CVT stepless automatic transmission, and Normal, Power, Eco and EV Four driving modes, with the idle stop operation of the system obtained after 40.0km / L in JC08 mode average fuel consumption, there is significant progress than the current third-generation 37.0km / L.
So, forgiving the clumsy translation, it looks like the whole hybrid system will make around 150 HP, and the Japanese gas mileage ratings (which are notoriously generous) is showing an increase of 3 km/L. That’s about a 7.5%-8% improvement, so if the current US Prius gets 50 MPG, maybe we could expect 53-54 MPG from the next one? These numbers are good, especially when you consider the current Prius’ power is right at 134 HP.
The whole car is a little bigger as well, and Toyota’s already suggested they want to give it better driving dynamics, which really shouldn’t be that hard to beat the current one, so that’s a nice low bar I bet they can clear. The new Prius is set to be revealed at the Tokyo Auto Show; we’ll know how accurate these are then.
We’ll update as we know more.
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