The current Prius was introduced for the 2004 model year, so its growing a little old even though it is the best selling hybrid in the US, by far. Next January, Toyota is going to unveil an all-new 3rd generation Prius.
The next-generation Prius (2009 or 2010 model year) will be unveiled at the 2009 North American International Auto Show (Detroit). The new Prius is going to grow in size ( 3-4 inches longer and an inch wider) and its engine is going to also get a bump up from 1.5L to 1.8L to increase performance. Although the car is going to be larger than the current generation, it is expected to weigh about the same. Also expect the next Prius to be even more fuel efficient than the current Prius, its rumored that it should be about 10 percent more fuel efficient (50-55mpg).
The next-generation Prius is not going to get lithium-ion batteries due to concerns over reliability, pricing and supply. Toyota is supposedly also working on a plug-in version, but don’t expect to see that at the time when the new car launches in 2009.
Lastly its being rumored that Toyota is going to expand the Prius name and use it on up to three hybrid vehicles. This could mean that Toyota is working on both bigger and smaller Prius-badged hybrid vehicles that will get Toyota even closer to its goal of selling 1 million hybrids per year by early in the next decade.
We’ll have to wait to see if the next Prius looks anything like the Hybrid X Concept pictured here.
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