Today’s unveiling comes after what has quite literally been years of rumours, reports, speculative renderings and, most recently, a series of leaked images.
While all of that has left little to the imagination, these official new images offer the first clear look at Toyota’s new fourth-generation Prius hatch, inside and out.
What you won’t get today is a full view of the new hybrid’s powertrain, with Toyota keeping a lid on those details until the Frankfurt motor show kicks off on September 15.
On the styling front, Toyota has worked to give the Prius a more exciting design, developed off the back of company president Akio Toyoda’s promise that all future models will offer a more emotional connection for owners.
For the Prius, this means that while its famously unique wedge-like shape has been retained, there’s a long and curvaceous new look to the overall profile.
A tapered roof and sharp character lines stand out through the profile, married to gloss-black D-pillars for a wraparound look.
A new hooked headlight design dominate the front end, wrapping around a slender upper grille and reaching back along the bonnet toward the long A-pillars.
At the rear, the Prius hatch’s familiar cliff-like tailgate lid and split window design is flanked by tall LED lamps that reach deep into the rear bumper.
As with previous generations, a minimalist design dominates the cabin of the new Prius, where a tall centre control panel sits proud of the dash, in front of a broad centre-mounted instrument cluster.
Sprouting out of an almost Holden Volt-like white panel is a stubby gear lever, while that theme of black and gloss-white finishes continues over to the steering wheel.
Under the skin sits Toyota’s New Generation Architecture (TNGA), a new modular platform that will make its first appearance with the Prius before going on to underpin dozens of new Toyota models in the future.
Again, full details on the new model are still to come, although Toyota has confirmed that the 2016 Prius measures 61mm longer and 15mm wider than its predecessor, while sitting 20mm lower overall.
"There is much more to the new Prius than a green image. From the bold design to the quality interior, the Prius has never had such a powerful presence," Prius global chief engineer, Kouji Toyoshima said.
"We have developed an even-better Prius by expanding its environmentally sensitive DNA while ramping up its desirability with an emotional design and an engaging drive. It offers a new perspective of what a hybrid can be."
The new Prius will also be the company’s first car to feature Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), which will include pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection bundled in, along with lane departure alert with steering assist, full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, and automatic high beams.
Toyota expects to make TSS available across “nearly the entire vehicle line-up” by the end of 2017.
Watch for the Prius to make its official global premiere at the Frankfurt motor show on September 15, when its full mechanical package will be detailed.