Toyota has teased what’s understood to be a fifth-generation Prius hybrid vehicle, ahead of its debut on November 16.
The Japanese carmaker has uploaded two different teaser images to its social media with the phrase ‘Hybrid Reborn’ on them, as well as another shadowy image on a landing page on its Japanese website.
It’s unclear what Toyota means by the term ‘Hybrid Reborn’ at this stage, but it more or less confirms the new Prius won’t be an electric vehicle (EV).
The two teaser images on its social media show what appear to be the C-shaped headlight and rear quarter panel designs.
The other image on the Toyota Japan website shows the new Prius’ sleek and aerodynamic side profile. It looks to be either a sedan or liftback, which would follow the traditional form factor.
This teased new-generation Prius isn’t expected to be a part of the bZ family though, as it won’t be all-electric.
Toyota Australia wouldn’t be drawn on the future of the Prius, but it was discontinued locally six months ago following a 21-year stint in the Australian market.
In May this year, Toyota Australia vice-president of sales, marketing and franchise operations Sean Hanley said the legacy of the Prius would “be carried on by other low-emission Toyota hybrids”.
In 2021, a claimed 72 per cent of RAV4s sold were hybrid, as were 84 per cent of Camrys, 51 per cent of Corollas, 65 per cent of Yaris Cross’, and 53 per cent of Klugers.
With price premiums over the non-hybrids of around $2000 and $3000, they’re a more attainable option than full EVs, and have the potential to pay back the difference with fuel savings in a few short years as we demonstrated here.
Yet with all these mainstream models doing so well, there’s been little interest in the quirky and expensive Prius for years now. Sales totalled just 77 examples last year and 95 in 2020, making it Toyota Australia’s least-popular vehicle – excluding the fleet-only Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV).