Meet The New Prius, Same As The Old Prius
Spy shots of what could credibly be a new Toyota Prius have finally surfaced. The next-generation of "America's Car" looks bigger than the previous iteration, but that's about it in terms of differences. The new Prius sports styling that is nearly identical to the outgoing model, with only a tightened greenhouse to [s]spoil the rear vision[/s] freshen up the looks. Of course it will be more powerful and more efficient (according to Toyota). The spy photographers who sent these shots in to Nextautos speculate that the larger dimensions mean wagon and convertible versions could be forthcoming. Though these possibilities would be good news for ToMoCo's ambitions to build the Prius brand, they'll be sure to have their hands full just supplying demand for the standard version. Although, with Honda's unnamed Prius-fighting sedan in the offing, Toyota might want to differentiate the Prius from its blatant knockoffs.
Guys, that's gotta be the new Honda hybrid. Jeez, it's got the square logo, you can see its impression right through the black camo. It looks nothing like a Toyota sombrero. As for engines: I remember hearing they're making a 2.4 liter hybrid drivetrain, but I don't think it's because they're making the Prius with a bigger engine. I think it's because the Toyota A-BAT truck will be coming out by then. Same size as the RAV-4's engine, if I'm not mistaken. That's gonna be a great little truck right there. Not pretty, but I'll betcha it's gonna do a good job of being a truck.
My guess as to the small greenhouse/high belt line is, it is the result of the pedestrian safety standards of the european union. The hood needs to be high so there is crush space over the motor. Look the Fiesta photo posted on thes site the past few days, see how high the hoodline is, as well as the base of the windshield? Seems outward visibility is being compromised by this new regulation. Bummer. I would guess high belt lines don't really make a car more side, impact resistant unless the beam inside the door is mounted higher up.
more powerful/more efficient - fine but they need to make it LIGHTER