It appears that the fourth-generation Toyota Prius will arrive a little bit later as the Japanese carmaker delayed the start of production from early next year until December 2015. This means that a prototype version of the next-generation Prius will arrive around November 2014.
The reason for delaying the new hybrid vehicle is that engineers have to tweak it in order to ensure that it delivers the maximum fuel economy and possible adjust the body and chassis issues. As a result, the production of the plug-in Prius will start in October 2016.
As usual, the company’s spokesman declined to make any comment on future product plans, just like hybrid czar Satoshi Ogiso. Still, Ogisso said that the new Prius will be a test bed of critical new technologies, including the new vehicle architecture and the next-generation hybrid system codenamed 690A.
The first-generation Toyota Prius was introduced back in 1997, while the current version arrived in 2010. Since then, Toyota Prius became world’s best-selling hybrid vehicle.
The next-gen Prius will use the new modular approach, dubbed Toyota New Global Architecture that aims to boost the number of parts shared among vehicles in order to reduce costs.
The new hybrid system is also expected to be smaller, lighter and more efficient as Toyota is planning to improve the fuel-economy by at least 10 percent over the third-generation Prius. Still, the new Prius will not receive the new energy-saving computer chips that were unveiled by Toyota last month.
As we told you, the new semiconductors will be made of silicon carbide and show only a tenth of the energy loss of the silicon-based chips used today. Toyota will start the deployment of those chips somewhere in 2020.