Dramatic Changes Expected For Next-Gen Prius

Toyota is working on the next generation Prius, and details are slowly coming out.

First of all, the 4th generation of Toyota’s hybrid is penciled in for a spring 2015 launch.

All the information mentioned in this article has been provided to Motor Trend by an engineer involved with the program that reportedly wanted to stay anonymous.

The next Prius will be equipped with the next-generation of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system.

The concept of the next gen Prius is “Getting back to the basics of the original Prius.”

This said, the design will be dramatically altered. The hood and waistline will be lowered, and the whole front end’s proportions will be as well. The hood should end up being 3.5 inches lower and lose its wedge shape.

The A-pillar’s base will be brought backward while the roof line will move forward by more than 19 inches. The result will be a more vertical windshield in order to both improve aerodynamics and the general look of the vehicle. Aerodynamics will improve as moving the windshield this way will allow for a better treatment of the rear portion of the new Prius.

The 2015 Prius will be based on the next generation “C” platform. This strategy is part of Toyota’s New Global Architecture TNGA strategy. The Prius is considered the top of the range of cars based on this platform.

Yes, the next Prius will lose weight, all of 150 pounds according to the source mentioned. The wheelbase will stay the same at 106 inches while front overhang will decrease by 2 inches.

MotorTrend’s source was quoted as saying this styling change is American-led: “Our research tells us that many Americans think the current Prius’ waistline is too high and its shape too “wedgy.” They say it does not look sleek enough. We are being told to give the next model a sleeker, lower profile. And that’s exactly what is going to happen.”

Mileage is expected to improve to at least 60 mpg combined. Batteries will be both of the lithium-ion and NiMH variety, as is the case today. As quoted in the article, “Toyota engineers have found that NiMH batteries actually manage power delivery better when it comes to intensive consumption and recharging of electricity.”

The next model will have 4wd, created in an e-4WD way. The rear wheels will be powered by a separate electric motor and will operate up to 37 mph.

Interestingly, the source of all these information stated various basic patents of Toyota’s original Toyota Hybrid System (THS) – the progenitor of the Hybrid Synergy Drive of today – will expire by 2013, but also said the company will jump again in front of the competition with the new generation of the THS system.

Motor Trend

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  • Volume Van

    “roof line will move forward by more than 19 inches”

    Will it be a single box type without bonnet. Hope they will bring it on any of the Auto Shows next year.

  • Van

    It is a little difficult to picture, but if by roof-line, they are referring to where the windshield meets the roof, then the slant of the windshield would indeed be close to vertical.

    Rather than looking more like the original Prius sedan, expect it to look more like the current Honda as far as the shape of the front.

    The 60 MPG sounds great, that has seemed achievable to me for years, yet no one has done it yet. And the combination battery also sounds like a good idea. Years ago the thought was a combo capacitor and battery, but the two different batteries seems a step in that direction.

  • Chas

    The Spring of 2014 would be better.

  • Volume Van

    Gen-1 Prius was from Dec-1997 to Aug-2003 (5 Years 9 Months).
    Gen-2 Prius was from Sep-2003 to Apr-2009 (5 Years 8 Months).
    Gen-3 Prius will last only 5 years although its power train is applied in Prius V & PIP.

    Capacitor is far more superior than any battery when it comes to recharge / discharge and Mazda is going to use it in the models soon.
    Hope Toyota will use it in their Prius.

  • Full Hybrid

    I know for a fact that the next Gen Prius will not get 60MPG because of two reasons. First reason, Toyota increases MPG by 10% on the last Prius which will mean 55MPG combined for the 4th Gen Prius. Second they are just trying to hype it up so you can get people excited about the new model.

    I do believe that even 65MPG on a full hybrid model is possible in the U.S. but then they would have to spend more money on R&D to increase even further on the next model.

    Full Hybrid

  • Jeff Cobb

    To see a picture of the imagined car, click on the MotorTrend link above …

    It’s copyrighted, so we could not print it ourselves.

  • Anonymous

    it is americanized alright… looks like a dodge

  • John D.

    Great… Now it will just looks like every other car.
    I, for one, liked the distinctive style that was as recognizable as it’s name.