Ahead of a possible launch later this year, the fourth-generation Toyota Prius has been spotted in Thailand.
The car above was spotted by Watcharapong Ch on the streets of the Thai capital, Bangkok; the photo was published first on Indian Autos Blog.
Underneath the copious amounts of camouflage, it’s clear that the new Prius will retain the familiar Kamm-back body style employed on both the second- and third-generation cars. Despite the familiar body shape, the car will be all new.
Codenamed 690A, the new Prius is based on the company’s Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which will underpin many of the Japanese automaker’s new products in the coming years.
The latest reports indicate that the new Prius will be launched later this year. Engineers are, reportedly, currently hard at work ensuring that Toyota’s halo vehicle is a home run.
To that end, sources are claiming that the new Prius will be around 10 percent more efficient than the current model — this would work out to a fuel economy rating of about 3.5L/100km.
Speaking to the press last year, Koei Saga, Toyota‘s drivetrain supremo, stated, “I think we will come up with a fuel economy that will surprise everyone”.
He also revealed that the next-generation Prius will come with a nickel-metal hydride batteries as standard, although upscale versions will be fitted with lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries, which are commonplace in smartphones, tablets, laptops and other maker’s electrified vehicles, provide longer electric-only driving range and better energy density, but are also more expensive than their nickel-metal hydride cousins.
A plug-in hybrid variant is rumoured to be in the works too, with a debut said to be penciled in around 10 months after the regular edition is unveiled. The company may also be working on an all-wheel drive variant.