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Toyota reveals innovations set for next Prius

The fourth-generation of the world’s biggest-selling hybrid nameplate will be based on Toyota’s New Global Architecture, a platform which will offer a lower centre of gravity and stronger structure, in turn providing improved on-road dynamics.

Under what promises to be a highly aerodynamic bodyshell will be the first application of the carmaker’s new lighter, more compact and considerably more fuel efficient hybrid drivetrain, targeting the same 10% reduction in CO2 emissions achieved between each of the previous three generations.

Set to be rolled out across Toyota’s growing hybrid portfolio, this uses the powerful new electric motors and the highest energy density batteries yet, while the petrol engine is targeting the highest thermal efficiency (a measure of how little energy is wasted during combustion) of any production vehicle.

It also marks the second time the Prius will be offered as a plug-in hybrid. Based on customer feedback, Toyota said it had extended the fully-electric range, and tests of a wireless charging system are due to begin in Japan, the USA and Europe next year.

Alex Grant

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