Toyota’s new Prius is slated to launch in January 2017. The ground-breaking petrol-hybrid has been on sale in the Indian market since 2010, but it has only met with limited success. However, the large number of Camry Hybrids being sold in India is indication that hybrids are more in vogue now, and Toyota is keen on capitalising on that trend with the latest Prius.
The latest Prius will be available with a nickel-metal battery, a lithium-ion battery and as a plug-in hybrid internationally, though we are likely to get the nickel-metal battery variant only. The new Prius is the first car to be built on Toyota’s new TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform, and will be powered with a smoother, more responsive and more efficient version of the current Prius’ 1.8-litre petrol engine working in combination with a more compact electric motor. The manufacturer has made improvements to the car to make it more driveable than before. They have fitted it with an independent rear suspension to make it a sharper handler and better competitor to rivals in European markets, and stiffened the chassis by 60 percent.
The new Prius will, once again, be sold in India as a full import. There is also the possibility that Toyota will consider assembling the Prius in India in the future to take advantage of the benefits offered by the government, making India the first location outside of Japan where the Prius is assembled.
While the Prius will not be an out-and-out sales driver for Toyota in India, it will serve as something of a technology demonstrator. In any case, its improved driveability, claimed fuel efficiency of 40kpl and sharper looks should ensure that it is more popular than its predecessor.
New Toyota Prius image gallery
2016 Toyota Prius review