Prius Family (Photo: Toyota Motor Corp.)
Quite an achievement to live up to, the next generation 2015 Toyota Prius is determined to maintain Toyota as the company in the forefront of automotive efficiency. According to Inside Line, an unnamed Toyota source promised that the next Prius will receive an enhanced, distinctive, and aerodynamically influenced profile with a new design that lowers its drag coefficient even further. What's more, Toyota will work on lowering the weight of the Prius in order to squeeze every ounce of efficiency from the vehicle. Not only will the next generation be more streamlined, and feature a more extensive use of aluminum, but even the tires will be designed to offer even lower rolling resistance as well.
In order to keep costs in check, it's unrealistic for Toyota to build the Prius entirely in aluminum. However, Prius has already dabbled with the material with applications such as its aluminum engine cover so a thorough use of lightweight materials is expected.
With its distinctive, aero-influenced shape, the Toyota Prius has become something of an instantly-recognizable design icon in its own era. But the next Prius, due out for 2015, will be even more streamlined, and it'll weigh less, according to a new report.
Toyota has been a bit more tightlipped in terms of powertrain development but Inside Line expects a new lithium-ion battery pack to replace the dated nickel metal hydride unit. Advantages include an increased capacity and a faster charge.
A seemingly measured evolution rather than a complete redesign, Toyota is smart not to mess around with a good thing. Given the possible use of the more expensive lithium-ion, the standard Prius may move slightly upmarket. Meanwhile, the lesser Prius c would slot perfectly underneath its bigger sibling. Stay tuned for updates on the next generation hybrid as more information on its development surfaces.