Toyota’s Prius is set for release next April and an awful lot of information has leaked including images of the forthcoming model.
What do we know so far?
Well, Toyota have ditched the old 1.5 litre engine in favour of a new 1.8 litre unit producing a more powerful 100ps over 77ps in the current generation.
Strangely with a power and capacity increase comes a fuel economy jump to a very impressive 40km/l although it’s not clear how this has been achieved.
On top of this, from the autumn Toyota plan on introducing a plug in system but at least initially it will only be leased to noted organizations and individuals. A full production version is expected about 2 years later.
Solar panels will be offered as an option and are expected to assist fuel economy still further and should have the ability to entirely power such fuel sapping mechanisms as the air conditioning ( i think). The panels are thought to have been subtly incorporated into a panorama roof which will be an integral part of the solar option.
Toyota arrived at the optimum aerodynamic shape for this type of car with the previous generation Prius and so as a result the new car doesn’t look significantly contrary although it does appear at the least freshened from the photos available on the net.
Honda have further endorsed the basic Prius outline with its upcoming Insight.
Honda’s challenger is of course going to present the biggest challenge to the Prius domestically. Although Toyota’s new hybrid is going to be significantly more fuel efficient and technologically supreme it may lose out on price and perhaps stylistically.
The Prius is likely to retail from 2.4 million JPY but expect to add a lot more to that with options. It is thought that Honda’s Insight will go on sale at below 2 million yen.
Let battle commence.
Picture below is of the current generation car.