The new Prius will keep the family shape
Test mule uses a modified dash lifted from the Lexus CT
The new car is likely to use a modified version of the current car's powertrain
Battery packaging will be improved to increase cabin and boot space
The new model will be positioned as a more premium product in Toyota's range
The fourth-generation Toyota Prius has begun testing in southern California ahead of a likely launch next year.
Despite the heavy camouflage, it is clear that the model keeps its aerodynamic wedge shape, with a sharply raked windscreen and flat rear end, while the interior borrows much from the Lexus CT200h to reflect the Prius’s more premium positioning in the Toyota range.
The top half of this test mule's dashboard is pure Lexus, but the centre console sees the controls significantly repositioned, suggesting the production car could feature a lower centre console than its upmarket cousin.
Little is yet known about the hybrid powertrain that will be used in the next-generation Prius. The electric-only range is set to be improved, as is the packaging of the batteries to increase boot space.
The 1.8-litre petrol engine to which the electric drive system is mated is likely to be carried over, but with further improvements to its performance and efficiency.