Toyota unveils more details on next-generation Prius

Article by Christian A., on January 29, 2014

Toyota Motor Corp. has disclosed further details on the fourth-generation Toyota Prius, including its batteries, gasoline engine and platform. Toyota executives said engineers intend to equip the Toyota Prius with powerful and lightweight lithium ion batteries as well as new ultra-efficient gasoline engine. The new engine is expected to achieve thermal efficiency rates beyond 40 percent, compared with a max of 38.5 percent in the current Prius.

A higher efficiency rate means more energy from internal combustion is captured and less is lost through heat. The next generation Prius will also be a pioneer in the push for Toyota's new modular product development -- Toyota New Global Architecture -- which aims to allow versatile engineering and low-cost, flexible manufacturing.

Toyota has disclosed that the first vehicle to be based on the platform strategy will be launched in 2015. Toyota's global design chief has vowed that the Prius will have a revolutionary design -- both inside and out. The TNGA calls for lower-slung vehicles with a more planted stance and lower center of gravity aimed at improving handling and creating a sportier image.

The new look is part of Toyota's plan to keep the Prius not only at the top of hybrid sales but also ahead of other electric-gasoline rivals. Toyota is working to make sure that the Prius would not lose market share to rivals not only in the hybrid segment but only in the other areas.

However, it seems that the fourth-generation Toyota Prius won't be introduced in the US for at least another year as it becomes more unlikely that it would be built in North America anytime soon.

Even if it already has premium features, Toyota equipped the interior of the new Prius with cutting-edge technology. These are then matched with features that are not only pleasing to look at but bring with it both fun and function. Visibility has clearly been enhanced with the use of the controls made easier. Then there are the form-hugging seats and the wrap-around design of the dashboard.

All of these combine to ensure that this latest offering from Toyota is an automobile that is truly engaging. Compared to the previous version, the interior of the new generation is quieter.

What this means is that occupants get to enjoy even more the connectivity and multimedia features under the Toyota Entune. In a statement, Toyota Division General Manager Bill Fay revealed that the new Prius is sure to attract new customers to the segment due to the exceptional feel and look.

Fay, who is also the Group Vice-President, added that this was built through a foundation of eco-consciousness and safety, qualities that have long defined the heritage of this vehicle. As mentioned, safety has long been part of the model’s heritage and the 2016 Prius is no different. It will be one of the models to be released in the U.S. to have the Toyota Safety Sense P or TSS (P).

This is an advanced multi-feature safety package that is based mainly on automatic pre-collision braking. In fact, there are a number of innovative safety technologies bundled like Automatic High Beams, Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection.

In terms of eco-consciousness, the 2016 Prius is also showing exceptional figures. Toyota projects that for this model, fuel economy rating for city will be at 54 mpg. Highway rating meanwhile is expected to be 50 mpg with combined at 52 mpg. It is clear these are better compared to any other mass-produced passenger vehicle in the market, one that has no plug. Similar to the previous generations though, the new Prius will be powered by regular-grade gas.

In addition, Toyota will also be releasing an Eco grade model with a fuel economy rating of city at 58 mpg, highway at 53 mpg, and combined at 56 mpg. This is all thanks to having the aerodynamics optimized further and having a lighter weight.

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