Next-generation Toyota Prius delayed again, this time due to design issues

Article by Christian A., on December 16, 2014

Back in June, we reported that the fourth-generation Toyota Prius will be delayed by 6 months as the Japanese producer needed more time to tweak the vehicle in order to be sure that it delivers the maximum fuel economy. Now, the next-generation Prius is facing another problem as the vehicle’s design needs to be more impressive and must be refined.

According to a Toyota insider, the exterior will be clearly different when compared with the current model and the carmakers wants a design that feels like a “fresh breeze”. In addition, the new Prius will receive a sporty look as it targets young buyers and wants to appeal to a wider audience.

What’s more interesting is that the vehicle that is most closely previewing the new Prius is the C-HR Concept shown back in October at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

The C-HR Concept features a so-called diamond architecture and comes with muscular wheel arches, an aggressively-designed grille and tapered glasshouse.

The new platform used by the next-gen Prius will also offer more flexibility in designing the interior, which means more space for the passengers.

According to Toshihiro Kasai, the next-gen Prius will not feature a design inspired by the brand new Mirai, company’s fuel cell vehicle.

What we also know is that the new Prius will debut new microchips and microcontrollers that were tested in the TS040 Hybrid Le Mans race car and will be available with both nickel-metal hybride as well as lithium-ion batteries. As an option, Toyota is also expected to offer an all-wheel drive system.

With the design of the Prius being shaped by the wind tunnel, it is not only about brains but also about emotions. The design team made sure that this new model would have a greater feel of excitement. Serving as an inspiration for the sporty design is a runner positioned in the starting blocks and this express that sense of forward motion.

The second generation, as well as the third generation, of the Prius was defined with a feature known as the “Triangle Silhouette.” In the latest version, this has been re-imagined. The profile is sleeker and longer. Further, the overall outline brings to mind that sporty shape.

In addition, the hood is lower and the name badge placed on the front is one the same level as that name badge on the Scion FR-S. The roof peak remains to be just as distinctive and has been moved 6.7 inches (170 mm) forward in order to lower drag further while at the same time guarantee that there is enough headroom for those sitting in the rear. Beginning from the fenders in the front, there are edgy characters lines that go through the side.

One of these lines is positioned on top of the sill and runs upward all the way to the rear fender. There is also an upper curve that morphs to the vehicle’s rear spoiler. Meanwhile a rocker panel has that unique upward-facing light-catching surface which starts at the vehicle’s lowest part. This is to highlight the new model’s stable low stance. On the rear section, the striking and unique combination lamps convey the distinctive lines the Prius is known for. It begins in the rear spoiler moving the trailing edges of the model’s sides.

This results in what could well be the most evocative nighttime signatures seen on the roads. On the front section, the main features are the Bi-LED headlamps, which are fitted as standard, and give the front fascia that unforgettable appearance. Through the use of automatic headlamp leveling, the beams are always focused on the road and thus remove the possibility of blinding drivers that are in oncoming vehicles.

For this new model, the company will be offering a choice of seven colors for the exterior. This includes the latest color which is Hypersonic Red. By using a new developed treatment process, the result is a vibrant and deep luster which helps highlight the car’s external forms.

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