2010 Prius revealed, sneakers still a major design influence

We've been hearing rumors about a partially solar-powered Prius, but Car and Driver's got some info on the 2010 model scheduled to make an appearance at the Detroit Auto Show in January, and it doesn't appear that sunlight plays a part quite yet. The popular hybrid gets a more angular shape, but it still basically looks like a shoe -- which isn't to say it's not an improvement over that earlier rendering, which looked like a terrifically ugly shoe. Dimensions are only slightly bigger, as Toyota wants people to "recognize the Prius as a Prius" but the engine gets a small boost to 1.6 liters while fuel economy is said to be improved over the current model's 48 / 45 EPA numbers. There's also a plug-in version in the works, but the battery tech to make that happen is still under development, and supplies will be limited to the "hundreds of units rather than thousands." All this is partially speculation on C/D's part, so we're still holding out hope for solar panels, but we've got a feeling that's not going to happen for a while yet.

[Via TG Daily]

Update: Our bad, looks like the image above is apparently just Car and Driver's illustration of what they think it COULD look like. Thanks, Dave.