Toyota Prius hybrid: the fourth chapter opens at Frankfurt 2015 | CAR Magazine

Toyota Prius hybrid: the fourth chapter opens at Frankfurt 2015

Published: 09 September 2015

► Toyota Prius revealed in full
► All the pictures, no full spec yet
► Prius sticks with nickel-metal battery 

Toyota has unveiled its new 2016 Prius hybrid ahead of its world premiere at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show. The Japanese are letting the pictures do the talking today, with precious few technical details announced. 

But we do know that a new nickel-metal hydride hybrid battery is used (no lithium here), which results in a more compact and lighter design, according to Toyota. And it’s confirmed that the new hybrid uses the latest Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA) to lower the centre of gravity for improved handling.

The Japanese manufacturer says the older-tech battery provides improved fuel economy, lower emissions and higher efficiency than the outgoing Prius’s power supply, while also improving charging performance and creating a smoother, more linear-feel to the acceleration. No word yet on CO2 emissions and mpg, but we’d be bitterly disappointed by anything less than 90g/km. 

The 2016 Toyota Prius: first official pictures

An integrated spoiler has been introduced with side panel lines following to the rear, emphasising the spoiler. At the front it looks rather similar to the new Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car, except using a less in-your-face grill, but you can’t escape the feeling the headlights are designed like a pair of human eyes.

Inside, the Prius gets a makeover with a new, sizeable touchscreen and climate control system. The automatic box is controled by a Civic Type R-esque placed lever on the lower facia, in keeping with the stubby gearlevers seen on earlier Prius models. The leather steering wheel is mounted with all the button controls you could possibly want including phone connectivity. 

Frankfurt world debut

Picking a Frankfurt world debut is a surprise move in a year when the domestic Tokyo motor show is held the following month, but shows how seriously the Japanese want to establish their hybrid leadership in sophisticated territories such as Europe.

Other cars confirmed for Toyota’s Frankfurt motor show 2015 plans include the Rav4 Hybrid’s European debut and a second C-HR concept making its world debut.

Unsurprisingly bearing in mind the cars above, the company is promising to focus on its hybrid plans and announce the next stage of Toyota Safety Sense, its active technologies designed to minimise injury to passengers in collisions.

Toyota Prius (left) and Mirai (right)

By Matt Bell

Former digital intern at CAR