Toyota has revealed the all-new Prius hybrid ahead of its public debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show next week. The new Toyota Prius will establish new benchmarks for fuel economy and emissions, says the firm.
The first Toyota based on the firm’s New Generation Architecture – TNGA for short – it has a lower centre of gravity for better handling, and a more space-efficient (and expensive) double wishbone rear suspension.
The full hybrid powertrain is new and Toyota says it’s smoother, quieter, more responsive and, significantly, “has a more linear feel that is better aligned to engine speed”.
No more ‘slipping clutch’ sound effects?
The firm isn’t disclosing any economy details just yet, but does say the engine has more than 40 per cent thermal efficiency, setting a new world record for a petrol engine.
There’s a new, smaller and more energy-dense, nickel-metal hybrid battery (lithium ion has been eschewed by the firm).
New Toyota Prius styling
Visually, the new Prius marks a big evolution over its two predecessors. It now sports more of a saloon look, despite retaining the rear hatch: this closely aligns it with Toyota’s new hydrogen fuel cell Mirai which recently begun deliveries in the UK.
The rear has an extended deck and a sharply cut off tail, an extreme example of aerodynamic efficiency, and the rear C-pillars are now dark-finish to extend the roofline by creating a floating-roof effect.
Inside, it’s a modernised version of the current car’s look, with a central touchscreen, centrally-mounted instruments and an open-plan feel.