Three images of the new Toyota Prius have leaked onto the internet ahead of the petrol-electric hybrid’s launch next year.
The pictures show that Toyota has stuck closely to the current Prius’s proportions, but that the new car has been given a sleeker, more aggressive look.
We already know that the new car is going to be bigger than the outgoing model, with Toyota insiders saying it will be about 10cm longer and 3cm wider than the second-generation Prius.
It will also get a more tightly packaged hybrid drivetrain and battery pack to further increase interior accommodation.
A bigger capacity 1.8-litre petrol engine will provide more power and still lower emissions, with the new car capable of a combined economy figure of more than 70mpg, and CO2 emissions likely to be below 90g/km.
Despite the rush of other manufacturers towards lithium-ion batteries, the new Prius will initially continue to use a version of the current car’s nickel hydride battery pack.
Toyota is determined that nothing should sully the company’s reputation for reliability, and the plan is to introduce lithium-ion batteries in 2010, after the technology has proved reliable.