If rumors are to be believed, big changes are in store for the next Toyota Prius. UK outlet Auto Express recently spoke with a Toyota engineer who leaked details concerning the development of the popular hybrid's successor. According to that engineer, "The next Prius will redefine the hybrid as we know it."

The forthcoming Prius will be constructed on a new C platform, good for a 70-kilogram (153-pound) reduction in weight. The car's current 1.8-liter engine will be modified, and the electric motor and power inverter will be downsized. But, according to the Auto Express source, it will deliver more power. It will also be more fuel efficient – which we kind of assumed – however, the source is claiming 90 miles per gallon fuel economy (on the UK cycle, we imagine, so something closer to 75 mpg here). If true, that's definitely impressive.

While the standard Prius will get these drivetrain changes, the plug-in version will remain largely the same. That said, both models will receive an electric motor that drives the rear wheels, as part of an e-4WD system. According to the source, Toyota would be, "targeting snowy areas" and said that the rear wheels will be driven at speeds "up to 37 mph." Interestingly enough, Toyota will stick with nickel-metal hydride battery for the Prius, with lithium-ion fitted for the plug-in model.

All of this new drivetrain technology is set to come with a change in design philosophy for the Prius. The wedge shape synonymous with the Prius will be ditched in favor of a sleeker design, moving the A-pillar backwards. This design is not supposed to effect aerodynamics or overall functionality.

It's hard to argue with the success of the Prius in its current design and drivetrain layout, but with many new hybrids nipping at the heels of the Prius' dominance, it seems like a good a time as any for Toyota to raise the bar once again for environmentally conscious driving.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 56 Comments
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      Given the car already gets 72mpg on the EU cycle, if it hits 90mpg, on that you're talking 62mpg in the US, not 75mpg.
        Anderlan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        I've heard promises of 60mpg US elsewhere as well. Of course, it's a nice, round next number up the ladder, so completely a safe bet. Anything more than 55mpg US I would consider a successful iteration.
      Brody
      • 2 Years Ago
      It would be amazing if the Prius can beat my original Insight, that was EPA rated at 65 MPG before it was downgraded because of the new EPA cycle to 53 MPG combined. IT would be amazing because my insight is only 1800 lb and has a tiny aerodynamic drag area.
        HVH20
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Brody
        I still get 70mpg on my gen 1 insight CVT. If a 4 seater AWD car can get close to that its damn impressive.
          Brody
          • 2 Years Ago
          @HVH20
          Yeah, my lifetime MPG is 64.5 MPG
      Dark Gnat
      • 2 Years Ago
      Electrically driven rear wheels huh? That could be really awesome if Toyota gives them lots of juice at take off.
        willied
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dark Gnat
        This is Toyota we're talking about, though...
      FRENZIED
      • 2 Years Ago
      The new Prius needs user-friendly, easy-to-understand, controls and dashboard! My in-laws are on their 3rd Prius and those things are a PITA to figure out and use. The Prius-C is a lot better.
      john m
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great idea!
      Jake
      • 2 Years Ago
      That would be a smart move in terms of product planning. There's definitely a shortage of ultra-efficient AWD vehicles right now. The Impreza is probably one of the best, and its fuel economy is still nowhere near Prius and VW TDI.
        Brody
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jake
        That's probably because conventional 4WD is heavy and lossy with all the extra differentials and joints. Hopefully a EV 4WD will eliminate some of the extra mass and components that drag.
      richard schumacher
      • 2 Years Ago
      "This design is not supposed to *affect* aerodynamics", not "effect".
        Fatoid
        • 2 Years Ago
        @richard schumacher
        You're right of course, your correction is what the author must have intended. But you'll have to agree, the original: "This design is not supposed to effect aerodynamics or overall functionality.", is much more amusing.
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      Whoop dee doo, now we'll have to deal with retard tree huggers thinking think their shitbox hybrid can go off road.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        axiomatik
        • 2 Years Ago
        eCVT is not the same thing as a 'traditional' CVT.
        bchreng
        • 2 Years Ago
        Keep the revs high and don't brake so much around the curves (the tires can take it). Maybe consider installing the 'performance' kit. There is some fun to be had with the Prius as long as it doesn't involve drag racing. Adding eAWD to it can only make it more fun.
      Tweaker
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dolts. Idiot writers can't get right even when they try. Imperial gallons, Euro test. Under 60 mpg US.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tweaker
        [blocked]
      Conspiracy theory
      • 2 Years Ago
      This 4WD system will hopefully be version 2.0. As it is in my 4WD highlander hybrid it is barely adequate. There is so much torque the wheels spin on any slippery surface and the computer shuts down the power leaving you stranded. Snow tires are a MUST for this vehicle. That said can't wait for a 70MPG+ Prius.
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      Also >not using lithium-ion for the regular car I shiggy diggy zippity zoppity flippity floppity clippity cloppity dippity doppity whippity whoppity
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