Toyota has revealed that the fourth generation Prius will debut in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 8.
If the previously leaked images prove true, the 2016 Prius will get a sharper look, LED headlights, and a fastback body to shed the “boring” mystique of previous generations. The intro will be of the hybrid-only version, while a plug-in hybrid variant will be displayed next year.
Inside, the cabin will undergo a total makeover with a new three-spoke steering wheel, white trim, large infotainment screen, and an upper display with speedometer, transmission indicator, and hybrid live-data information.
The new Prius will adopt Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) and will be a good deal more efficient than the present generation. The all-electric range should rise from 11 miles to approximately 35 thanks to an upgraded battery pack and weight savings.
Among other changes, the next generation hybrid will offer an all-wheel drive system for a premium charge. The new electric motor will be paired with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with increased thermal efficiency for an estimated 148 horsepower.
When it goes on sale, the new Prius will face competition from the redesigned Chevrolet Volt and Ford C-Max Hybrid. Full electric vehicles like the Kia Soul EV, BMW i3, Chevrolet Bolt, and Nissan Leaf could lure buyers from Toyota.
It remains to be seen if the increased efficiency, new styling, and improved all-electric range will command a price premium over the present generation.