2016 Toyota Prius Spotted In the Metal, Camouflage Gone, We See Many Mirai Features

2016 Toyota Prius 3 photos
Photo: Prius Club Malaysia
2016 Toyota Prius2016 Toyota Prius
This is it, ladies and gents, green car lovers and Toyota aficionados: the new Toyota Prius was spotted with no camouflage on, in what appear to be pictures of sales-ready vehicles.
We've been expecting this type of photos to surface the internet for a while now, especially since the freshest rumor about Toyota's new Prius reached our ears last week. It was about the hybrid's launch date, as a report suggested Toyota will unveil the new Prius in Las Vegas, on September 8.

Now, if we are to look at the regular chain of events whenever a new model is spotted barely naked, we should also expect Toyota to pave the way for the alleged launch with one or two teaser photos. We'll see if that's the case.

The looks

For now, we'd rather focus on what these pictures have to say. First and foremost, we get a glimpse of the new Toyota Prius' design language, courtesy of Prius Club Malaysia.

The side profile hasn't changed, but the car's front and rear ends are entirely different. In fact, there's a lot of Toyota Mirai in the new Prius and only a few features from the soon-to-become old Prius - I'm talking about the current Prius, the one that made its debut in 2009.

We can see the PHEV will indeed sport the boomerang-shaped taillights we saw in spyshots from earlier this month

So, was the Mirai a teaser for the Prius, strictly from an appearance point of view? It is possible, especially since the Mirai will be sold in limited numbers (3,000 units through 2017), which means potential customers had the time to get used to the sharp lines etched on Mirai's outer shell.

Underneath the car, under the hood

The new Prius is the first Toyota model to be underpinned by the brand's new TNGA architecture. From what we can distinguish by looking at the pictures, the new Prius is a tad larger than the ongoing model, but we'll wait official specs to confirm that.

Moreover, the new Toyota Prius (codenamed 690A) could offer as much as 40 percent thermal efficiency, the highest ever for a production vehicle. It goes without saying this aspect will profoundly influence the PHEV's overall effectiveness.

Powertrain-wise, Toyota's lips are glued together, but we expect the vehicle's hybrid setup to at least be on par with what Chevrolet has to offer with their new Volt.

The cabin

Until official photos with the interior of the upcoming Toyota Prius are released by Toyota's PR arm, we'll have to settle for what previous spyshots showed us.

Therefore, what we can tell you so far is that the hybrid's cabin will be fitted with a center-biased gauge cluster, spread over the central area of the dashboard. However, the center stack will be dominated by a new LCD screen, which we think will be tasked with handling the car's primary functions: speedometer, transmission settings, energy usage and flow-related details.

The HVAC system (abbreviation for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) should be controlled by standard buttons inserted in a strip positioned right below the display.

Jim Lentz, Toyota North America CEO stated a few months ago that he drove the new Prius and the car is "fantastic", but we won't take that for granted. After all, it's only normal for officials to be overexcited about the products they sell.

If you ask us, we think the 2016 Prius could debut this fall, maybe on the stage at the Tokyo or Los Angeles Auto Shows. But as usual, we'll keep you up to date as new info on the new Toyota Prius will pop up on the Internet in the coming days.
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