The Toyota Prius is undeniably the king of the hybrid market in the United States, with a 39.4 percent market share in 2013. With the next-generation Prius likely to go on sale in 2015, Toyota is trying to build an even more efficient hybrid to keep its control of the market.

Keeping cost down will be one of the major concerns of the new Prius. The next generation will ride on the new, modular Toyota New Global Architecture platform. The lighter underpinnings will improve efficiency and will reduce production costs by allowing for more shared components among vehicles. Toyota will not reveal how many vehicles will use the new platform. But even with the cheaper platform, price will remain a concern. Toyota is still deciding whether all versions of the next Prius will use lithium-ion batteries or whether some models will stick with the heavier nickel-metal hydride batteries to keep cost down.

Of course, the reason most people buy the Prius is because of its great fuel efficiency. Toyota will aim for at least an 8 percent improvement in fuel economy in the next Prius, which would increase it to 58 miles per gallon city and 52 mpg highway.

To maximize efficiency, the next Prius will receive a new, more thermally efficient engine. Toyota will not go into many details about it yet, but engine will have thermal efficiency above 40 percent, compared to 38.5 percent now. That will mean more of the car's energy won't be lost to excess heat.

While the Prius remains the hybrid market leader, competitors keep emerging and eroding its lead. If it wants to remain on top, the next Prius has to show why it is still the king.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Will the new commercial be as annoying as the last one?
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wonder if they'll go all LED with the headlights and taillights? If they are trying to conserve electricity and squeezing out every ounce of savings, LEDs for the heads, tails, and interior should add up to 3-4% in electric savings….just thinking out loud here
      • 1 Year Ago
      Getting the Prius combined mpg up from 50 mpg is nice, and it will make a nice headline, but once your car is getting 40 mpg combined, the battle is pretty much already won. The average driver covers about 1,000 miles a month, if you drive much more, that is interesting but most people don't. A 20 mpg combined car will use around 50 gallons a month, 30 mpg 33.3 gallons, 40 mpg 25 gallons, 50 mpg 20 gallons, 60 mpg 16.6 gallons... So going from 20 to 30 saves you 16.6 gallons per month, 30 to 40 saves you 8.3 gallons, 40 to 50 saves you 5 gallons, and going from 50 to 60 mpg saves you just 3.4 gallons. Why bother? Lets see if I can "graph" this... Comb MPG Gallons used Gal Saved vs previous level 20 50 30 33.3 16.6g 40 25 8.3g 50 20 5g 60 16.6 3.4g 70 14.3 2.3g
        • 1 Year Ago
        Great point. It is still bragging rights :) It's just like the Mustang Fanboys saying "Our car has 660hp and your's only has 659hp". End of the day, competition is great! :) I want the option of 1000hp or 500 miles on a battery charge or 100mpg on a standard car :) Options are great to have.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Loved my 2007, gave it to my mom with 147K, bought a 2013 and love it!!!!! I drive 80 on the highway and 65 on the county roads and average 48 MPG!!!! I love the Bluetooth and the NAV!!! My mom loves my 2007!!!!
      • 1 Year Ago
      When more people are aware of IIHS's small overlap test, the Prius will need to do better. Hopefully this new platform has sufficient crash mitigation in its design. The 2014 Corolla was disappointing.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Vehicle safety doesn't have a great effect on sales Spots not really relevant Just ask ferrari
          • 1 Year Ago
          Ferrari doesn't sell 10 million cars per year.
      • 1 Year Ago
      These things are everywhere around here in O.C. CA. We were on our way to my daughter's allergy shots and I said, "Notice anything weird?" Took her a moment, but then she realized we had 5 Prii boxing us in. I would consider one if they made a fun to drive Prius.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe the lithium batteries will help bring the Prius Alpha (7-seat Prius V) to the USA. Wishful thinking, I know ...
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have pretty high expectations for this next Prius. Can they deliver as promised? We shall see.
      • 1 Year Ago
      save your money and buy a real car...
      • 1 Year Ago
      "What a boring ugly car, Needs way more power" -Typical AB User.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nobody cares anymore about a few more mpg in the Prius. Toyota, stop chasing diminishing returns with the slow, boring Prius, but instead do the following: * Start hybridizing larger vehicles like trucks and minivans, and do it affordably. * Make a better plug-in, something that can go head to head with the Volt on EV range, EV performance and price.
      • 1 Year Ago
      58 MPG and 52 MPG is fairly impressive since that the Prius has way more usable space than a lot of other hybrids and plug-ins out there. The Prius is like a truck bed with the seats folded down. Ford Energi cars have a Huge battery blocking any useful cargo area.
        • 1 Year Ago
        A lot of the hybrids, yes. The plug-ins? It barely takes the lead, apart from Ford's poor attempt to package and hide their batteries, most EVs and PHEVs and upcoming models that are very competitive in interior and cargo space. It's a shock to some and a pleasure for owners that the i-MiEV has more cargo space than the Prius with the seats down, just over 50 cubic feet as I remember.
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