Tree huggers rejoice, for Toyota has brought out the fourth generation Prius at the desert of Nevada, or Vegas, to be precise. Over 350 motoring journalists, social influencers and guests crowded the event to celebrate an industry icon. Name any Hollywood A-lister and chances are they’ve owned any one of the previous models. Such is the popularity of the Prius.
This all-new model features a smaller yet lighter hybrid system with a higher-energy density batteries that’s paired to an internal combustion engine with an increased thermal efficiency of more than 40 percent. This powertrain advancement contributes to a significant improvement in fuel economy, while Toyota hinted that an ECO variant which promises even greater levels of economy will be introduced at a later date.
However, it seems that customers are no longer obsessed about MPG figures as opposed to aesthetics, so Toyota upgraded the Prius inside and out to deliver the complete package – provocative styling, smarter technology and impressive MPG figures; all in a vehicle that promises to be more fun to drive. That being said, Toyota have been rather scarce with information on the all-new Prius.
The 2016 hybrid is the first global vehicle to implement Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) philosophy which in essence, aims to improve vehicle performance whilst enhancing product appeal via a development program for powertrain components and vehicle platforms.The goal here is of improving resource efficiency by over 20 percent.
The styling cues here are striking to say the least. With LED lighting, the front fascia is sharper than before yet distinctly recognisable. The windscreen is heavily racked to create a slippery aerodynamic stance with lines that runs the length of the eco-muncher. Many adjectives could be used to describe the rear end, but unusual would be one fine way to get the ball rolling.
The bold styling would definitely make the Prius stand out from the crowd. As it stands, this new fourth-gen is 61mm longer, 15mm wider and sits 20mm lower than the model it replaces – also in line with TNGA. The Prius boasts a more responsive suspension pack, couple that to the lower centre of gravity which pledges better driving dynamics.
What’s most shocking here is the all-new rear double wishbone suspension setup that will greatly improve the handling characteristics of the Prius. It’s a setup that’s pretty much unheard of, and it’s definitely an eye opening trait. A more rigid body helps improve responsiveness and cornering as well. Toyota has kept the driver’s needs at the fore front without compromising fuel economy, it seems.
That much we know at present time. More details on the Prius will surface soon, so stay tuned to this space for more updates!