Music, food, and special effects came together in Las Vegas this week to welcome the all-new 2016 Prius. The Toyota mother of hybrids was reborn this week in a lighter, bigger, and more fuel efficient fourth-generation model.
“Prius set the global benchmark for hybrids, but now is breaking its own boundaries with more engaging style and fun-to-drive dynamics. What was once a rational purchase that for many customers focused on fuel economy, is now so much more. This Prius will invite new drivers into the category by delivering an impressive look and feel, built on the foundation of safety and eco-consciousness that define the vehicle’s heritage,” says Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division.
The new Prius takes futuristic design cues with longer lines that highlight the 2.4-inch longer body and 0.6 inch wider stance. The design also is 0.8-inch lower, which is highlighted by the lower hood and the more distive A-pillars that arche back into a floating roof created by blacked out C-pillars. The rears new design features a lower rear spoiler and distinctive tail lamps that extend from the deeper cut sidelines. The signature hatchback window bar remains, but it is more streamlined and less noticeable from the outside.
The interior is still distinctively a Prius, but gets a new design with a wrap-around dash, new seats, easier to use controls, and improved driver visibility. It still features the uniquely Prius center digital gauge display that keeps drivers informed about their eco driving. The longer and wider body lines also mean that the five-seat interior is more roomy and gets an improved cargo capacity.
The 2016 Prius is the first Toyota global vehicle to use Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). The new platform contributes to the lower center of gravity as well as improved, according to Toyota, “fun” handling. The fun is achieved with a new rear double wishbone suspension for a more connected and responsive drive.
Prius continues to offer a safe drive with the TNGA platform’s more rigid frame as well as offering the new Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) that adds Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Control, and Automatic High Beams.
Exact powertrain details are yet to be released. However, the new hybrid system is set to be lighter and 10 percent more fuel efficient giving it “best-in-class fuel economy among vehicles without a plug,” says Toyota.
The new Prius will go on sale at the beginning of next year.