The all-new 2016 Toyota Prius has finally been unveiled officially after a series of spy shots. The second generation of the world’s first mass produced hybrid car takes a bold step in design and promises improvements in pretty much every aspect.
Design and Dimensions
The “ground braking” design has edgy elements like boomerang shaped projector headlamps, triangular foglights and strange looking rear combination lights that run all way down to the bumper. The basic shape in profile closely follows the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle’s design language. The car is 60 mm longer, 15 mm wider and 20 mm lower than the outgoing car.
The interior retains the layout with a centrally located instrument console but the design of the elements are fresh. A comprehensive touchscreen infotainment system, a new three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and white accents are the highlights.
Chassis and Suspension
Based on the TNGA (Toyota New Generation Architecture) platform, the 2016 Prius has a lower centre of gravity and is claimed to be 60% more rigid. The new front and rear double wishbone suspension system is claimed to improve the road holding and handling characteristics of the car.
Detailed specifications of the hybrid powertrain have not be released yet but the auto giant has revealed that the new system delivers 10% more fuel efficiency and 40% more thermal efficiency. Electricity for the motor is courtesy of a new nickel-metal hydride battery pack which is smaller, lighter and more durable than before.
Toyota has also significantly enhanced the Prius’ equipment list which, apart from usual safety and comfort features, includes automatic high beam, pre-collision system, lane departure alert, dynamic radar cruise control and road sign assist (only for Europe).
Toyota will launch the 2016 Prius later this year starting from Japan. Prices and more technical details are expected to be revealed shortly.