The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid may have surpassed the Toyota Prius to become the best-selling Toyota hybrid in the United States. But, it is still a top-rated vehicle that warrants a new generation if Toyota wants it to be relevant among the new wave of modern electrified cars. Japanese website bestcarweb.jp reported in May 2021 that a fifth-generation Toyota Prius (expected as the 2024 Toyota Prius in the U.S.) is in the pipeline.
For 25 years, the Toyota Prius has been unmistakable in terms of design. Its peculiarity makes it instantly recognizable, and it’s more aerodynamic than comparable mass-market compact cars. The Japanese report suggests that the new-generation Prius would be a sporty coupe to improve its desirability instead of a plain-jane family car. We speculate that Toyota might target a drag coefficient of 0.24 or lower. Best car also reported that the interior of the 2024 Toyota Prius would be its highlight without offering details.
According to the Mag-X render from January 2021, the 2024 Toyota Prius gets an aggressive front apron which isn’t as funky as the fourth-generation model. The render presents an idea of what the front of the 2024 Toyota Prius might look like—it will have horizontal headlamps with DRLs and turn indicators that form a C-shape. The radiator grille and the lower grille are sizeable and sporty. In Japan, automotive experts expect a compact and sporty design that would be a departure from the current model.
Citing a Mag-X report, an article on creative311.com has stated the dimensions of the 2024 Toyota Prius. The vehicle may measure 179.1 inches long, 70 inches wide, and 55.7 inches tall. The hybrid may have a wheelbase of 108.2 inches. Compared to the current generation Prius, it might be shorter, wider, and have a longer wheelbase to appear low-slung and squat. The current Prius measures 180.1 inches long, 69.2 inches wide, and 57.8 inches tall, with a wheelbase of 106.2 inches.
Beyond Zero mobility event
On December 14, 2021, Toyota Motor Corporation presented 17 new Toyota and Lexus electric concepts that will make it to production in the coming years, transforming the brands towards an electric future. While the future Prius was not a part of the presentation, it may borrow design cues from the likes of the Toyota Crossover EV and small SUEV concepts that feature a split headlamp design with C-shaped DRLs and a raked bonnet line that merges with a blanked-off grille. However, this is all speculative, and there’s no official word on the next-generation Prius.
The fourth-generation Toyota Prius is based on the GA-C version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). Expect the fifth generation Prius to be based on an improved version of the TNGA with better structural rigidity. Moreover, the next-generation model is expected with strong hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions for key markets like the U.S., Japan, and the EU.
Later this decade, Toyota will introduce a Europe-specific ‘E3′ architecture that is being developed for electric, plug-in hybrid, and strong hybrid powertrains. The E3 would be highly flexible and may combine GA-C and bZ platform (e-TNGA) components. However, the E3 may be entirely irrelevant for the next-generation Prius, as the Prius’ development is expected to have already reached an advanced level.
Enhanced hybrid powertrain
The 2024 Toyota Prius will be more efficient than the current generation model, which returns 32.1 kmpl on Japan’s WLTC testing method. The 1.8-liter engine is expected to remain the same, perhaps with further tweaks. Best Car reports that Toyota will integrate the current lithium-ion battery pack in the new Prius.
Sales & Strategy
2021 YTD and Q1 2022 sales
In 2021, Toyota managed to sell 59,010 units of the Prius in the United States, a figure that was up by 34% over the pandemic-marred 2020, when the brand only sold 43,525 units. Toyota achieved new milestones in the first quarter of 2022 when 25.8% of total Toyota sales in the U.S. were electrified models. However, Prius sales seem to have significantly impacted over Q1 2021. Toyota sold 10,278 units of the Prius in the first three months of 2021 compared to 14,050 units sold in the same period last month, accounting for a 26.8% decline.
In its glory years, circa 2012, 200,000 units of the Prius were sold in the United States. Japanese website BestCarWeb stated that between April 2021 and March 2022, 44,935 units of the Prius were sold in Japan, a drop of 24% compared to the previous fiscal year. Even at home, the Prius has found the going difficult, where once it was the best-selling car for consecutive years.
A new generation model may reignite the fire and possibly revive Prius sales. The emergence of affordable and long-range electric vehicles is a rising threat to the brand that was once an innovator in the car industry.
2022 Toyota Prius launched in the U.S.
The currently running model is the 2022 Toyota Prius, launched in the U.S. in August 2021, and prices start at USD 24,625 (MSRP), excluding destination and handling charges. Toyota is offering a stylish Nightshade Edition with headlight accents, mirror caps, 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, shark fin antenna, and door handles—all in black.
There’s also an AWD-e version of the Toyota Prius Nightshade Edition with 15-inch alloys and black lug nuts. Also, a standard rear-seat reminder ensures that the driver doesn’t leave a child, pet, or any important belongings behind. The XLE and Limited variants are equipped with new fog lamps with LED accent lights.
History of the Toyota Prius
In the 1990s, the Toyota Prius was the beginning of a new era, not just for the Japanese carmaker but also for the automotive world. In 1997, the year it was launched, it became the world’s first mass-market strong hybrid vehicle. However, it faced criticism for its simple design, after which Toyota reimagined the model in 2003, bringing to life the now-famous wedge-shaped rear. An improved Toyota Hybrid System (THS II) improved fuel efficiency to 46 mpg combined, an impressive figure even today.
The second-generation Prius represented environmentalism and became a famous sight among celebrities who endorsed climate consciousness. It was owned by Hollywood celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Natalie Portman. Toyota also introduced the THS II with the second generation. The more advanced iterations of THS II are in use even today, with a variety of engine displacements in vehicles like the Camry, RAV4, Lexus models, etc. The third-generation Toyota Prius (2008) brought more innovations; it had a solar ventilation system, an electric water pump, and a more fuel-efficient 1.8-liter engine.
The fourth-generation Prius (2015), based on the TNGA, brought along with it a paradigm shift. It had a more aerodynamic design, and its engine had a claimed thermal efficiency of 40%. Toyota’s pioneering hybrid technology prompted other carmakers to invest in the technology, and today customers have no shortage of options with brands offering multiple HEVs and PHEVs in their portfolio.
Stay tuned to TopElectricSUV for future updates on the 2024 Toyota Prius, including a possible world premiere in the first half of 2023.
2024 Toyota Prius FAQs
What is the 2024 Toyota Prius release date?
We expect the next-gen Prius to premiere in 2023 and reach the U.S. in the second half of next year.
What is the expected 2024 Toyota Prius price?
Expect the 2024 Toyota Prius to start around USD 25,000 in the United States.
Featured Image Source: Toyota