Toyota ready to design more heart-racing Prius

Long praised for its fuel economy and reliability, the Toyota Prius has been no stranger to less-than-flattering remarks about its styling and sense of excitement. In fact, the model is a regular movie punchline. For evidence, see Mark Wahlberg in The Other Guys or, more recently, Ice Cube in Ride Along.

Apparently, Toyota President Akido Toyoda is getting the message and is pushing for what's been translated as a more "heart-racing" design for both the Prius and the Camry, the Canadian website Driving says. The Camry and Prius accounted for about a third of Toyota's US sales last year.

With the Camry as the best-selling US model for each of the last dozen years, Toyota US head designer Kevin Hunter noted at the Detroit Auto Show last week that the Japanese automaker is looking for a "more emotional" design for the boxy sedan. The Prius redesign may have more constraints, as aerodynamics have to be factored in to ensure top-line fuel economy for the world's best-selling hybrid. Toyota used the Detroit show to show off the FT-1, a concept that many consider a preview of the new Supra. How this "Future Toyota 1" will affect the Prius and Camry redesigns, whenever they appear, remains in question but we like where things are headed.

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