Love it or hate it, the Toyota Prius might be the most recognizable car on the road these days with its slippery, wedge-like design. Originally used to optimize aerodynamics, the unique shape of the second-generation Prius quickly made the car an icon, so Toyota kept the same basic look on the latest, third-gen model. According to an interview with Chris Hostetter, group vice president for strategic planning of Toyota Motor Sales USA, in Bloomberg, Toyota might be looking to alter the Prius' signature shape in the name of increasing sales across the model's lineup.
It sounds like a replacement for the current model is still at least a year away, but the next design could be a stark departure from the Prius we know today. While there is no indication as to what direction Toyota could take, the report does rehash the Toyota NS4 Concept sedan that was displayed earlier this year in Detroit. Whatever it looks like, the next Prius will certainly be tasked with not only keeping existing hybrid customers interested but also drawing in new ones as well.
Since growing the Prius to include the Plug-In, C and V, sales have almost doubled this year with 200,114 Prius-branded cars sold in the US through October. Bloomberg says that on a global scale, the four models accounted for almost 700,000 units through September eclipsing the previous Prius record of 509,399 units sold back in 2010. With Toyota expecting the Prius to be its top-selling car by the end of the decade, this recent trend could easily continue upward for the with a more mainstream design.