The fifth-generation Toyota Prius will be revealed on Wednesday 16 November, the Japanese manufacturer has confirmed.
The car was previewed by an image posted to the firm’s Japanese social media accounts on 9 November, featuring the strapline “Hybrid Reborn” underneath a headlight. This indicates that the new model will use a different hybrid powertrain from the outgoing Prius, such as a plug-in hybrid system, or a motor-generator set-up (where a petrol engine generates electricity, while an electric motor drives the wheels) as used in the Nissan Qashqai e-Power.
— トヨタ自動車株式会社 (@TOYOTA_PR) November 9, 2022
New images reveal a similar liftback silhouette to the third- and fourth-generation Prius, but with front-end styling reminiscent of the Chinese-market Toyota bZ3 electric saloon, which uses innovative ‘Blade’ batteries supplied by BYD. Meanwhile, the rear end features a new horizontal light bar design.
The outgoing Prius was withdrawn from sale in the UK earlier this year, with the Corolla line filling the electrified C-segment gap in the line-up.
Despite recent reports that Toyota was accelerating its electrification efforts in response to the unexpectedly rapid uptake of EVs, hybrids will continue to play a key role in its strategy.
Speaking about electrification, Toyota Research Institute boss Gill Pratt told Autocar in July: “My wife and I bought a Tesla Model X, because we’re good friends with a chief engineer on that car. It’s an incredible car. But my wife used it to commute 30 miles a day, which meant 90% of the battery wasn’t being used most of the time. We were just dragging all this weight, all these raw materials, around.
“We all know that we’re in an era of limited battery supply. Well, couldn’t those battery cells have been used for a better purpose in eight PHEVs like the Toyota RAV4 Prime, where the battery capacity would have contributed to much more total emissions savings on almost every journey?”
And in December 2021, Toyota Europe product and marketing boss Andrea Carlucci told Autocar: “We still have a centre of gravity around the hybrid. So the Prius remains clearly iconic and stands for what we are: hybrid and a leader in electrification.”