The next-gen Toyota Prius is slated to see a global debut on November 16. The car has been previewed by an image posted on the firm’s Japanese social media accounts, featuring the strapline “Hybrid Reborn” underneath a headlight. This indicates that the new model will use a different hybrid powertrain to today’s car, either a plug-in hybrid system, or a motor-generator set-up (where a petrol engine generates electricity, while an electric motor drives the wheels) as used in the Nissan Qashqai e-Power.
- New Toyota Prius to have similar silhouette as the outgoing model
- Could even get a motor-generator set-up like Nissan’s e-Power tech
- May not be called Prius upon launch
Next-gen Toyota Prius: Likely to be based on TNGA platform
The new car is likely to be based on Toyota’s existing TNGA platform, which underpins models as varied as the current-gen Yaris, the Corolla and the new Lexus RX (India launch soon). The images reveal little else, although the front-end styling appears to be similar to that of the Chinese-market Toyota bZ3 electric saloon, which uses innovative ‘Blade’ batteries supplied by BYD.
Although Toyota traditionally places a high value on its established nameplates, having used the Corolla name since 1966, the new model might not be called ‘Prius’. The Prius has also been retired from the Japanese GT300 racing series, after a decade of contention. Hiroto Kaneso, boss of APR Racing (which ran the Prius), told motorsport.com that its racer would not be replaced by a new Prius but by a different – secret – Toyota hybrid currently under development.
Despite recent reports that Toyota was accelerating its electrification efforts in response to the unexpectedly rapid uptake of EVs, hybrids will continue to play a key role in its strategy.
In December 2021, Toyota Europe product and marketing boss Andrea Carlucci had told our sister publication Autocar UK that the brand still has "a centre of gravity around the hybrid”. “So, the Prius remains clearly iconic and stands for what we are: hybrid and a leader in electrification,” Carlucci added.
The Prius was sold in India for a short while, with the last model going on sale back in 2017. Toyota currently is focusing on hybrid powertrains for our market and currently sells the Camry and the Hyryder with full-hybrid options. The brand will introduce the Innova Hycross full-hybrid early next year in the Indian market.
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