Revealed this week during a private event in Las Vegas, the fourth generation Prius aims at strengthening the leading position in the growing hybrid segment – a market that the past generation have dominated with more than 3.5 million global sales.
From the aesthetic perspective, the Prius’ exterior has been completely redesigned, adopting the bold, weird and controversial design language introduced with the Mirai.
The wedge-shaped profile is underlined by the lower hood, while the distinctive roof peak has been moved forward, enhancing the sense of forward motion.
Compared to the Mirai, the Prius showcases more “normal” proportions, however the busy, intricate surface treatment, which is particularly evident in the headlights area, is likely to raise many critical reactions.
Given the strategic importance of the model, it will be interesting to see how such a personal aesthetic will affect the model sales, and how the peculiarities of the hybrid segment will leave space for bold, if not hazardous, looks.
Contrary to the exterior, the interior appears to be a well-executed evolution of the previous design, and went towards a simplification of the lines pleasantly accompanied by curved, flowing lines.
The resulting effect is modern and in tone with the advanced technology of the car.
With the 2016 Prius, Toyota has further advanced its hybrid technology, improving on all areas: fuel economy, emissions and efficiency.
The new Prius also marks the first application of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which gives the designers more styling freedom, and thanks to the lower centre of gravity, allows for improved handling response and stability as well as a more athletic profile.
The smaller, more energy-dense hybrid battery and a new double wishbone rear suspension system contribute to a larger loading capacity and interior space.