We already know that Toyota is working hard on the next-generation Prius and already delayed the vehicle by 6 months in order to have more time to maximize mpg. And things are getting harder and harder for Toyota as Ford is already working on a new hybrid vehicle that will be a direct rival to the Prius.
Set tot arrive in late 2018 the new vehicle will be company’s first dedicated hybrid and what’s more interesting is that it will be designed to be marketed only as a hybrid and will not be a variation of a gasoline model just like it did with the Fusion or the C-Max.
Just like the Prius, the new hybrid gasoline-electric car from Ford will be offered in different body styles. In addition, Ford wants to take things even further and plans to offer the different versions of the vehicle’s powertrain such as a more expensive model that can be recharged from any electrical outlet.
Asked about these rumors, a Ford spokesman declined to make any comment. Codenamed C240, the new hybrid vehicle will be produced at Ford’s Wayne assembly plant and some of the technology such as the electric motors and batteries are expected to be borrowed from the current hybrid models found in company’s lineup.
Chevrolet is also planning to introduce the second-generation Volt at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Set to hit the market as a 2016 model, the new Chevrolet Volt will offer a better fuel economy than its predecessor and promises to be a better rival for the Toyota Prius.
Still, the Prius remains the best-selling hybrid in global markets despite the fact that its sales dropped 11 percent in the United States. Ford’s C-Max Hybrid sales also dropped 29 percent in the first seven months of the year, while Fusion Hybrid sales are up 24 percent. [source: automotive news - sub. required]