Photos and specs of the next-gen Toyota Prius have been leaked by a Taiwanese automotive website called AutoNet.
We don’t read Taiwanese, so we employed Google’s ever-reliable translation services to get the jist of what AutoNet has to say about the car–prepare yourself for TOYOTA fourth-generation Prius exposure!
Based on these images (borrowed from Autonet), our first impression is of a car that, overall, looks too much like the unattractive-from-any-angle Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, with a body that looks like a blend of the current fastback and Prius V wagon. Not many consider the current Prius terrible attractive, but it’s prettier than this.
About a year ago, Automotive News suggested the next Prius would be offered with a choice of nickel-metal-hydride or lithium-ion battery packs, but now our Taiwanese pals say the Prius is going all lithium-ion, all the time.
Regardless of how the car will store electricity, AutoNet’s assertion that the new car’s powertrain will be as much as 15 hp stronger than the current Prius’, which would be a good thing in the big Prius V, which is underpowered for its carrying capacity.
AutoNet’s intel suggests the next Prius will shed 100 kg worth of curb weight, knocking it down to something like 1,280 kg (using the current car’s weight as a baseline). That seems like a serious diet for a car that’s already pretty thin on niceties like soundproofing, but would pay serious dividends in fuel consumption reduction. And this is in spite of a 70-mm stretch in overall length, and a body 25 mm (about an inch) wider. Oh, speaking of fuel consumption, AutoNet is throwing around numbers like 2.5 L/100 km for the standard model, and around 1.5 L/100 km for the plug-in version, according to Japanese test methods.
There’s no mention of a rumoured AWD variant, however.
If Google’s Taiwanese is good, then we can expect the new Prius to make its global debut this fall at the Tokyo auto show, followed by reveals in LA, Detroit, Geneva and China.
All of this sounds perfectly plausible, but as they say in Taiwan, 目睹為真。