When Toyota showed off the hydrogen-powered Mirai, it said that the design was meant to evoke, "the flowing shape of a droplet of water to express the vehicle's characteristic of drawing in air and emitting water." Toyota says the new Prius is a "sibling" to the Mirai, and the design claim is that the car was "Inspired by a runner in the starting blocks," and that, "the sporty design conveys a feeling of forward motion." Whatever the inspiration, the two vehicles look similar.
The new Prius is a bit bigger than the outgoing, third-gen version: 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider, and 0.8 inches lower, to be exact. This is the global vehicle built on Toyota's New Global Architecture (TNGA). Toyota claims the new platform gives the Prius a lower center of gravity which, when combined with the new, responsive suspension package, will, "dial up the driving excitement."
Inside we see the same center-mounted dash layout from previous Priuses. The glossy white plastic surrounding the gear selector is a bit reminiscent of the first-gen Chevy Volt, too. Overall, we like the clean, uncluttered layout. The exterior will come in seven colors, including the new Hypersonic Red.
Unfortunately, Toyota isn't giving us specifics of the powertrain or fuel economy of the new Prius. Fortunately, the company is making the previously rumored 10-percent miles per gallon improvement over the third-gen model official. Since the current Prius gets 51 mpg city, 48 highway and 50 combined, we can look forward to something like 56/53/55 city/highway/combined fuel economy for the new Prius. Even more exciting for hypermilers, an available Eco trim "will achieve an even greater improvement." Anyone want to bet if the Eco Prius will hit 60 mpg in the city?