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New Toyota Prius revealed. Image by Toyota.

New Toyota Prius revealed
All-new Toyota Prius expected to have sub-80g/km emissions.
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What's that then?

That is the new Toyota Prius, and we do mean pretty much all-new, as it's the first model to be built on the firm's new global car architecture, Toyota's riposte to Volkswagen's MQB platform. Not only does the Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA) make the Prius much more cost-effective to build, it's also larger (some 60mm longer and 15mm wider) and lighter, more roomy and has sophisticated new suspension with double wishbones at the back and McPherson struts up front.

Toyota isn't gracing us with any technical details until after the car's public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, but we do know that it will retain the same 1.8-litre petrol engine, which runs on the more efficient Atkinson combustion cycle, with the same electric hybrid assistance. There are, apparently, no major mechanical changes and no headline-grabbing CO2 figures to be had, but around 10 per cent improvement in economy and emissions is expected, mostly thanks to the reduction in weight. Toyota is sticking with old-school nickel batteries instead of the more fashionable lithium-ion, mostly because of reliability but also thanks to such things a cost and charge-up speeds. If the 10 per cent improvement figure is hit, that should see economy peak above 80mpg with emissions of just under 80g/km.

Outside, the styling owes rather a lot to the recently launched Mirai hydrogen car, and while Toyota has retained many familiar Prius styling cues, there are some changes such as a lower nose, headlights that are more distinctive and that big wraparound tail. Inside, it's much the same as before, but there is more space and a new infotainment system that should offer better connectivity options.

Prius global chief engineer Kouji Toyoshima said nearly every aspect of the Prius has been improved to create a car that will appeal to the senses in its own right, above its well-recognised green credentials: "There is much more to the new Prius than a green image. From the bold design to the quality interior, the Prius has never had such a powerful presence. We have developed an even-better Prius by expanding its environmentally sensitive DNA while ramping up its desirability with an emotional design and an engaging drive. It offers a new perspective of what a hybrid can be."

Neil Briscoe - 9 Sep 2015

2015 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.2015 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.2015 Toyota Prius. Image by Toyota.     - Toyota road tests
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