If you were holding off buying a new car in anticipation of the fourth-generation Toyota Prius arriving in 2015, your wait might be a little longer. Company insiders are claiming that production of the bestselling hybrid is being pushed back from spring to possibly as late as December 2015. Toyota is reportedly still making alterations to make sure everything is just right before it unleashes the all-important, efficient hatch on a waiting public.

According to unnamed sources speaking to Automotive News Europe, the main reasons for the delay aren't completely known. It's believed the engineers are still working on making the hybrid powertrain more efficient and improving the new Toyota Global Architecture modular platform. The insiders claim that the final production prototype of the Prius is still under development, and it might be November before it's finalized. From there, it usually takes around 12 months to tool up and for the first car to roll off the assembly line. It would be another year after that before the plug-in variant starts assembly. The national manager of Toyota Product Communications, Michael Kroll, told AutoblogGreen, "As you might expect, we can't comment on future product plans."

Despite the delay, some potential details have already emerged about the new hybrid. A company spokesperson recently told Autoblog via email that Toyota is engineering the next-gen Prius to have smaller, more power-dense electric motors and greater thermal efficiency. The new modular platform is also rumored reduce weight, and the changes could lead to a targeted 10 percent improvement in fuel economy.

One big upgrade won't be coming to the new generation immediately, though. Toyota product planning boss Satoshi Ogiso tells Automotive News Europe that the automaker's new silicon carbide semiconductors, which will reportedly increase fuel economy by 10 percent on their own, won't make it to the Prius until at least 2020.

Autoblog reached out to Toyota for official confirmation of the Prius' delay but was told that "the company cannot comment on any future product details."


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  • 43 Comments
      jebibudala
      • 6 Months Ago
      Sounds like they aren't hitting their 60mpg target they were hoping for. Personally I don't understand why anyone would spend 60% more for an expensive hybrid for a 20% better fuel economy.
        FordGo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        1) Once you buy a hybrid, you're NEVER going back to a guzzler, what do you expect them to buy a Hummer? Of course, they're going to buy a better car, or an EV. If they feel they've gotten all they want out of their current car. 2) Strawman argument: No one is spending 60% more to save 20%. They're spending 25% more to save nearly 100%, by buying an EV. 3) The VOLT gen 3 looks like is SCARING the butter out of Toyota. The Volt has already Killed Any Need for a Hydrogen Car. The Gen 3 may Kill the Need for a Prius.
          JSH
          • 6 Months Ago
          @FordGo
          Ducman69: I owned a 2003 TDI Jetta Wagon and a 2005 Toyota Prius. The TDI was a great car and I drove it for 10 years and 240K miles. However, when it came time to replace the TDI I purchased another Prius. Why? 1. Where I live diesel is 10% more than regular unleaded 2. The TDI has a timing belt and is guaranteed to cost $1000 to replace every 100K miles 3. The average Prius owner will never replace the hybrid battery. I don't know any Prius owners that have replaced their battery and the Prius taxi drivers I have talked to say they easily last more than 250K miles. (Toyota warranties the battery for 10 years / 150K miles) At the end of the day the Prius costs me less per mile to drive. It isn't an exciting car to drive but it is very practical.
          Ducman69
          • 6 Months Ago
          @FordGo
          Or you could get a Volkswagen Passat TDI SE and have a much nicer and more torquey car that still gets over 50mpg on the highway, and doesn't have to worry about replacing expensive battery packs.
        graphikzking
        • 6 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        I've never read they were trying to hit 60mpg. Please show me where Toyota said that so I can get some information on it! Maybe if Ford or Hyundai put out the engine it would say 60mpg but not Toyota. Their hybrids are getting exactly what they are rated. They don't want any other fiasco after the unintended acceleration publicity. Everywhere I've read I've seen a 10% increase which would put it around the 54mpg mark. Maybe they are trying to hit a nice round 55mpg? Where do you get 60% more for 20% better fuel economy? Can't compare a midsize car getting 25-40% better mpg to a compact car getting much worse. Don't go by HWY. GO by COMBINED! Most compact combined at about 32-33. Prius is 50 combined. That is a 66% increase. I Traded in a Nissan Maxima for a Toyota Prius. BOTH cars have the same passenger space. In order to fit a car seat in the back you and not have to move the seats way up (I'm 6' tall) I had to have a midsize car. (Car seats are a lot larger than they used to be). An Altima (my Maxima was mid-size but then they pushed up the Altima to take it's place), Camry, Sonata, Accord all cost within $2,000 of a Prius when optioned with Alloy wheels and automatic transmissions. The Maxima was much more fun but was also getting me 17-19 mpg whereas the Prius I'm at 49.6mpg lifetime and in the winter I start the car a solid 20 minutes before I get driving so it warms up the interior for my daughter. 19mpg to 49 mpg is not 20%. It's more like 160% increase in fuel economy. Or a savings of 62%!
      ihatedavebushell
      • 6 Months Ago
      Bland takes time to get just bland enough without being too exciting or too bland - these things take time!
        FordGo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @ihatedavebushell
        Two MILLION Cars Sold World Wide, Gen 3. That Aero Shape is MPG SEXY to 2,000,000 buyers.
      Revis Goodworth
      • 6 Months Ago
      I think this is what Moochies Obama looks like without her makeup.
        FordGo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        Highschool dropout? You can still get your GED. http://www.gedforfree.com
        Spec
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        Wow. What a sad bitter comment. Grow up.
      Revis Goodworth
      • 6 Months Ago
      Delay the road rabies all you want, Toyoduh. My 1997 Ford Escort cost $10k new and delivers better real world highway mileage than a Prius - at well over 50 mpgs and offers compelling average economy over 9k miles since new tires were installed of 45.0 mpgs. And I love no car payments.
        clquake
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        No one who drives a '97 Escort gets to pick on any new car.
          Zoom
          • 6 Months Ago
          @clquake
          There aren't even 97 escorts still driving here in California.
        delsolo1
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        I am sure your 1997 Escort impresses women.......over the age of seventy.
          FordGo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @delsolo1
          Actually, young women do, you'd be surprised of course, but you're probably old.
        ed_rc
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        i'm going to have to call "Bull Sh!t" on the 50MPG claim. To get 45 out of an Escort you'd have to drive it so slow you;d be a nuisance and a danger on the road.
        Ziv
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        Thanks, Revis! I needed a good laugh! I am not a huge fan of how the Prius drives/looks, but there is no arguing that it is an impressively efficient vehicle.
        normc32
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        New 4-cylinders are killing them in total costs.
          FordGo
          • 6 Months Ago
          @normc32
          You sir, do not understand Physics. The Toyota Stores Energy from going downhill to use going up hill. There is NO ICE that can match it in the real world. You've been suckered in by bogus highway mileage numbers, did you even look at city mpg numbers? As most Americans drive in Traffic, that's the number that counts.
        MayTheBestCarWin05
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        STFU
      Doug
      • 6 Months Ago
      They are working to get the ugliness just right - they have perfect on most of their other products.
      Ducman69
      • 6 Months Ago
      I heard they are working on the air-re-circulation system for the car's AC unit to draw air from the driver's seat cushion, so that Prius owners can more thoroughly savor the smell of their own farts.
      MayTheBestCarWin05
      • 6 Months Ago
      And everyone will continue to chase the benchmark. As boring as this car is, it has now than earned it's place in history and I'm excited to see what the next gen does.
      graphikzking
      • 6 Months Ago
      1. better interior. 2. more tire options. The sponges they put on the car are TERRIBLE! Read the forums and find that there are tires that actually make this car feel MUCH better and don't hurt fuel economy. 3. Give us engine options! Have a Camry hybrid motor option in the car! That would be great for a "sport version". It would be about 300lbs lighter than a Camry hybrid but with 200hp. Camry Hybrid already is a "decent" performer with a 0-60 in the low 7's. Hell 13 years ago low 7's in a Celica with 180 was a good performer and it would cost more than the current Prius without inflation!
      carguy1701
      • 6 Months Ago
      Oh no, how horrible. /s
      PeterScott
      • 6 Months Ago
      I hope they aren't making it look like the Fuel Cell car they just showed.
      delsolo1
      • 6 Months Ago
      Can't wait for the delay to end, guess I will end up buying a gas guzzling SUV instead.
      feerbmeh
      • 6 Months Ago
      It looks like a different roof line (higher, more headroom I guess). I kinda like the current roof line as it makes the car have some character (not like every other car on road).
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