The all-new 2016 Toyota Prius made a splashy debut in Las Vegas overnight, levitating above the stage before being driven into the spotlight. But despite the fanfare details were few and far between in Sin City.
The fourth generation of the groundbreaking hybrid is noticeably lower, wider and sleeker than its elder siblings, though like its predecessors, the styling is likely to be polarizing. The car rides on the first implementation of a lightweight modular platform known as the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), and improvements like a stiffer chassis and rear double wishbone suspension promise better driving dynamics.
Meanwhile, a suite of active safety options, including a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert and radar cruise control will help keep drivers safe.
But amid of the measurements regarding the car's new platform and sheet metal, the one most likely to register with consumers is the extremely impressive expected 10 percent increase in efficiency. Do the math, and that adds up to an EPA combined average of 55 mpg. A forthcoming Eco model promises even better numbers, but no specifics were revealed.
Toyota is yet to reveal powertrain details but says it has engineered each component of the Prius' Hybrid Synergy Drive system to be smaller and lighter, with greater energy density in the battery, and an internal-combustion engine capable of more than 40 percent thermal efficiency under some operating conditions.
For more on the Toyota Prius, read the in-depth reviews over at The Car Connection.