LAS VEGAS -- Toyota's redesigned Prius -- benefiting from smaller and lighter hybrid components, denser batteries that pack more energy and an improved gasoline engine -- will be 10 percent more fuel efficient while offering enhanced handling and more interior room.
The latest Prius "will offer best-in-class fuel economy" among vehicles without a plug," Toyota said at a press unveiling here Tuesday night ahead of the car's public debut at this month's Frankfurt auto show.
Toyota didn’t release powertrain details on the redesigned and re-engineered Prius (those are expected ahead of the Tokyo auto show in October), but the company promised the 2016 version would be lighter, more fuel efficient than its predecessor and -- rare for virtually any hybrid -- fun to drive.
Toyota expects the new Prius to get about 55 U.S mpg (66 UK mpg; 4.28 l/100km), said Scott Vazin, a company spokesman. The current Prius, with a 1.8-liter engine, is rated at 51 mpg/city, 48 mpg/highway and 50 mpg combined.
The “Prius set the global benchmark for hybrids, but now is breaking its own boundaries with more engaging style and fun-to-drive dynamics,” Bill Fay, general manager of Toyota's U.S. unit, said in the statement. “What was once a rational purchase that for many customers focused on fuel economy, is now so much more.”
The new Prius is the first vehicle from Toyota to ride on the company’s all-new modular platform that will underpin future models such as the Corolla and Camry.