Why Keep Making Hybrids? Mission of the All-New Prius


Following the world premiere of the fifth-generation Prius, Toyota Times shares the full presentation by Simon Humphries, Senior General Manager of Design.

An “interesting” choice

Without a doubt, pursuing rationality, fuel efficiency and other numerical values imposes many restrictions and makes designing the car no easy task. However, we really believed that that the next step for Prius was to become a car without compromises in order to increase its appeal to the customer. A car that is loved not only for its numbers.

I honestly don’t think Akio thought we would be able to achieve this, given the difficulties we had faced in the past. But he did not oppose us. On the contrary, he gave us a chance to fight, saying our team’s choice of love instead of commodification was “interesting.”

When he saw the final design, he said “That's cool!”

Together, we chose love. Everybody, the new Prius.

5 reasons to love the Prius

We hope there will be many reasons to love this car, but here are my top 5!

Number 1, it’s beautiful, or at least I’d like to think so! So, what has changed this time? I think it was a mutual understanding that good design cannot be created by designers alone. The engineering team’s efforts to lower the ride height, lengthen the wheelbase, and increase the tire size to 19 inches are not exactly logical.

But because of that we were able to take the iconic silhouette of the Prius to the next level. It’s not only sleek, it’s strong and stable. It’s not only bold and simple, it’s full of surface movement, it’s got attitude! But it’s not just design that triggers an emotional response.

Number 2, BEV with an engine. Dual Power with Synergy PHEVs deliver unparalleled performance thanks to the dual synergy of motor and engine.

Plug-in hybrid system (2.0L prototype)

It can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6 seconds. Its range in EV mode has been extended by more than 50% compared to the current vehicle. In many average usage situations, it is, to all intents and purposes an EV.

Number 3, amazing driving dynamics. The TNGA platform has matured, and the driving dynamics will not let you down.

Prius (2.0L HEV prototype)

We have achieved a lower center of gravity, even with large-diameter tires. By increasing the rigidity of the body, we have achieved firm and stable response in straight lines and easy line tracing in corners according to the driver’s intention.

Combined with the latest powertrain, the result is an even more captivating driving experience.

Number 4, digitization and quality. In this day and age, a superior integrated digital experience should not be ignored. Not only has a 12.3-inch center screen been adopted, but the layout is such that the digital environment enhances rather than detracts from the driving experience.

Prius interior (left-hand drive, 2.0L PHEV prototype)

Combined with high material quality and innovative illumination, we have also made the interior user experience a captivating one.

Number 5, and yes, it is still the most efficient hybrid vehicle in its class, in the world. You can be safe in the knowledge that all the exciting stuff has not come at the expense of actively contributing to carbon neutrality.

The road to zero emissions is certainly a steep one. But we must not forget that we are doing it for the sake of the earth.

Beyond Zero, a brighter and happier future awaits all of us. But that journey has to start, not only today, but also with the maximum number of active participants.

Whether the technology is battery electric, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell, hybrid, hydrogen, or some yet-to-be-discovered technology, we will make every effort to offer better solutions for the majority of people around the world.

Something only customers can answer

Will commodities or love prevail? That’s only something the customer can answer. How do you guys think this match will go? Personally, I look forward to seeing people around the world enjoying and growing to love the new Prius.