The 5th generation Toyota Prius is actually cool
Ever thought that the Toyota Prius would be a good looking car? Yeah, we didn't think so either. But the times are a-changing, and here we are with the 5th Generation Toyota Prius that almost has no business looking this good. Seriously, just look at the thing.
Like before still adopts the same sloping liftback silhouette that was made prominent in the second generation car (if you know you know), but the design of this 5th generation car is more evolutionary than revolutionary.
The bodywork has been simplified over the outgoing 4th generation car. No more stylistic creases and kinks here, the new Prius is much cleaner and looks more aerodynamic than before. The front end sports newer, slimmer headlights and a smoother bumper. The crease-free bodywork extends out to the widened rear track, with rear door handles housed just aft of the rear window apertures.
The back end loses the dual-paned glass hatch on the 4th gen car and instead, Toyota has fitted a black panel to house the rear lighting elements. There’s even a subtle upward kink in the rear hatch, akin to a ducktail spoiler. No word on official drag coefficient figures just yet, but we should expect it to top the Cd 0.24 set by its predecessor.
On the inside, the cabin design of the new Prius follows that of the BZ4X electric crossover, with a floating instrument panel and large infotainment screen stuck on the dash. There’s even an ambient light strip underlining the dash, and it’s wired to the Prius’ Toyota Safety Sense warning system to alert drivers of oncoming hazards.
We can’t tell from these pictures, but Toyota says that the new Prius has a longer wheelbase, is two inches lower and an inch wider in the rear (hence the curves round the tail end). It even gets larger diameter 19-inch rims from factory.
“The engineering team's efforts to lower the ride height, lengthen the wheelbase, and increase the tire size to 19 inches are not exactly logical,” says Simon Humphries, Senior General Manager of Global Toyota design, “But because of that we were able to take the iconic silhouette of the Prius to the next level.”
Now comes the interesting bit that raises the attraction factor of the new Prius. The older car was powered by a hybridised 1.8-litre four-cylinder power unit that has a system output of 134 horsepower. The new car will have 3 powertrain options, two 2.0-litre powertrains in both HEV and PHEV guises and a base 1.8-litre four-pot. No word on the specs of the 1.8-litre just yet, so stay tuned.
Now, let's talk about the 2.0-litre powertrains because the figures are quite astounding. The 2.0-litre hybrid variant of the Prius has a maximum system output of 193 horsepower, which is a significant bump over the 4th-gen car’s output. But the plug-in hybrid variant bumps the power to an almost hot hatch-ish 223 horsepower. Toyota says that the PHEV Prius will do 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds, which is (and we’re using the technical term here) absolutely nuts. For reference, a Golf GTI does the same sprint in 6.4 seconds.
Now the big question is; Will we get this new Prius in Singapore? Alas, we hath not the answer to that question. But given the nature of our COE systems, the respective power outputs and displacements of both powertrains would put this new Prius well within Category B limits. For further updates, watch this space.