You’d think with all that camouflage, the next Toyota Prius is still a long way off, but it’s actually expected to debut at the LA Auto Show this November. According to Toyota, it could go on sale in the US before the end of the year.
Prius fan Joe told us about two separate sightings of the fourth-generation of the world’s most successful hybrid model in San Francisco, USA, and Bangkok, Thailand, which were shared on the Priuschat forum.
From the side, the main glasshouse has the typical Prius styling signature, but Toyota’s designers have given the new model a more fastback-look with the slanted rear window and tall, almost upright tail. The front of the compact model is expected to borrow elements from the Mirai fuel cell car.
The new Prius will ride on the Japanese firm’s new Toyota New Global Architecture (TGNA) featuring a lower center of gravity and stronger structure, possibly gaining a longer wheelbase to improve space for passengers.
Toyota outlined some of the technical highlights for the fourth-gen Prius back in 2013, when it revealed that it would get a smaller and lighter yet more efficient hybrid powertrain with new electric motors boasting higher-power density and an improved gasoline motor, without getting into more specifics. The system will drive the front wheels through a CVT.
Like the current model, the next Prius will offer regular and plug-in hybrid versions, with the big news for the latter being the availability of a wireless charging system through a special pad placed in the owner’s garage or driveway.
While the plug-in model will use lithium-ion technology, it’s still not clear if the regular Prius will continue with nickel-metal-hydride batteries.
Toyota has said it expects the regular hybrid Prius to improve its fuel efficiency by around 10 percent over the current model that gets 50mpg combined, 51mpg city and 48mpg highway.
Thanks to Joe for the tip!