Next-generation Toyota Prius will get electric all-wheel drive

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 20, 2012

There’s a lot in store for Toyota’s next-generation Prius. In a recent Motor Trend report, a Toyota engineer hinted that the next Prius will arrive in spring 2015. It’s expected to return 60 mpg combined and to have improved styling and an all-wheel-drive system. The Toyota Prius already sells well in several states but the automaker wanted to get more people to consider a Prius.

With regards to the new Prius, the Toyota engineer informed Motor Trend that the rear wheels will be driven by a motor with what’s referred to as the e-4WD system. So that the Prius can go past snowy areas, the rears can operate up to 37 mph. When it runs faster than this speed, it turns into a purely front-wheel drive car. The Toyota Prius features new drivetrain technology that can help it get into the other markets.

A striking design would certainly benefit the Prius. It now has a lower profile and it will be sleeker as well. To boost the aerodynamics, the car will have a lower hood height (by around 3.5 inches) and roof height than the model in dealerships. Similar to that model, the new Prius could make use of either NiMH batteries or lithium-ion units.

The Toyota engineer said that its engineers have determined that NiMH batteries could handle power delivery better in terms of demanding consumption and electricity recharging.

It’s not the compact Prius C or the more versatile Prius V that has an EPA rating of 51/48 mpg city/highway. Instead, it’s the original Toyota Prius that boasts this rating. The next Prius has a platform that’s lighter, reducing the weight of the model by about 150 pounds. It has a fuel economy rating that could go up to as high as 60 mpg combined or even higher.

Topics: toyota, toyota prius, awd

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