Toyota unveils next generation Prius hybrid

The 2016 Toyota Hybrid Prius. Image courtesy of Toyota
The 2016 Toyota Prius (image courtesy of Toyota).

Japanese automaker, Toyota has unveiled the next generation of its highly successful Prius range of hybrid vehicles.

Unveiled for the first time last night in Las Vegas, the new 2016 Toyota Prius is being touted as an ‘evolutionary’ upgrade for the vehicle.

Through the use of lighter components and a significantly more energy-dense battery, Toyota has managed to increase the car’s already high-fuel efficiency by a further 10%.

“Prius set the global benchmark for hybrids, but now is breaking its own boundaries with more engaging style and fun-to-drive dynamics,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division.

The 2016 Prius is the first vehicle to implement Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). TNGA allows Toyota to use the same systems development for a number of its different car models, improving their overall performance.

Some of the initial hallmarks of TNGA in the new Prius include a lower centre of gravity and an improved suspension package.

While the vehicle’s insides have seen significant improvement, it is the Prius’s exterior and looks that the company is hoping will win customers over.

“This Prius will invite new drivers into the category by delivering an impressive look and feel, built on the foundation of safety and eco-consciousness that define the vehicle’s heritage,” Fay explains.

The new car features sharper and more distinct lines, and a more futuristic look. In many ways the overall aesthetic of the new, 4th generation Prius borrows heavily for that of the Toyota Mirai – the company’s first hydrogen-fuel vehicle.

As well, the car now features a number of new aesthetic design features on its exterior including LED headlights and a new, reworked spoiler.

The Prius additionally will be fitted with advanced technology improving its safety and allowing a degree of driver autonomy. Included in the TNGA are provisions for advanced pre-collision detection and mitigation software as well as so-called dynamic cruise control.

Toyota hopes that its latest update to the Prius will continue to enjoy the strong sales seen by its predecessors. Since its initial release, more than 8 million of these vehicles have been sold, making it the most successful hybrid vehicle globally.