Balancing Act

First Look at the 2015 4th Gen Toyota Prius

Anyone seen the conceptual artist rendering of what the 4th gen 2015 Toyota Prius could possibly look like? If you’re a fellow Prius enthusiast, then this is probably old news to you. If not, here are some scans from Holiday Auto magazine in Japan, made available by the folks at Stage10 – the same folks that brought over the left-hand drive electronic shift switch. The conceptual drawings are base on what a source close to Toyota has revealed about the new generation Prius. These “radical” changes according to an interview published by Motor Trend magazine includes (but not limited to):

  • Higher performing engine in a smaller invertor/engine package
  • Hood height dropped by 3.5 inches
  • Roof line will be pushed forward by 19.5 inches
  • A-pillars will retreat backward
  • Front overhand reduced by 2 inches
  • 150 lb in weigh reduction
  • New Toyota Hybrid System pushes the MPG limit from 50 mpg to 60 mpg combined
    • Up to 62 mph and 22 mile driving range on EV mode
  • First Prius model to incorporate a 4-wheel drive system
    • Rear wheels will be driven by the motor at speed up to 37 mph; above that, the Prius drive-train switches to purely FWD

In addition to the aforementioned features, previous automotive rumors indicated that the next generation of Prius will be available with plug-in option as standard. Since the list of upgrades do include “up to 62 MPH / 22-mile driving range in EV mode,” this rumored upgrade appears to align itself with the previous rumors. I’m not all too excited about the probable inclusion of an “e-4WD” system like other folks, especially since I drive mostly in sunny Southern California and primarily for road trips / commute. A 4WD system is overkill for a Prius with my driving style. What caught my attention is the smaller drive-train pushing more power, lighter weight, 20% increase in MPG, up to 62 mph / 22 mile driving range in EV mode. My Four yields an average of 50 MPG, which is right on the dot with Toyota’s estimated EPA ratings. At times I’ve been able to ramp up to 78 MPG, but averaging around 65 MPG at the higher end of fuel efficiency just by using basic pulse & glide and cruise control. Using the same technique but applied to the 4th gen’s predicted numbers, an average of 78 MPG at the higher end of fuel efficiency is realistic. These features alone are worthy of trading in or selling my Four in the next 2-3 years. Then again, as hybrid technology becomes more efficient over time, so do luxury vehicles that incorporates them, e.g. the Lexus ES 300h, Lexus GS 450h and the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid, which I’ve been stalking. However, at their current EPA ratings of just 30 to 40 MPG, it’s hard to justify downgrading from 50 MPG, even for 200 to 370 HP and added luxury. Hopefully we’ll see better numbers in the next iteration or two.

Since the Four is already paid off and a trade-in + a nominal upfront cash investment can get me into the next gen Prius, it may be a no-brainer decision. We’ll see in a year and a half as rumors gradually unfold :).

Artist conception of the next generation 2015 Toyota Prius. Keep in mind that these are just an artist’s rendering base on the changes reflected in the Motor Trend interview. I can’t help but notice how the concept drawings make the next gen Prius look like a 4-door Honda CR-X / CR-Z but I do like how it incorporates the new Toyota Avalon and NS4 concept influences on its front fascia:

2013 Toyota Avalon

2013 Toyota Avalon


Toyota NS4 Concept, photo by Autoviva

Toyota NS4 Concept, photo by Autoviva 







I should also point out that the alleged specs for the 2015 4th gen Toyota Prius is reminiscent to the FT-Bh hybrid concept first unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show:

Toyota FT-Bh hybrid concept, photo by Norbert Aepli, Switzerland

Toyota FT-Bh hybrid concept, photo by Norbert Aepli, Switzerland


Toshi, “Sneak Peak! The 2015 NEW 4g TOYOTA PRIUS!!!”, Stage10. 5 Jan
2013 <>.

Lyon, Peter. “Radical New Toyota Prius in the Pipeline”, Motor Trend. 5 Nov 2012.  10 Jan
2013 <>.

3 thoughts on “First Look at the 2015 4th Gen Toyota Prius

  1. Allen Kropp

    I see that the A piller will be more vertical in the new gen 4 Prius-that should help forward visibility. Some info has said that the plug in option would be standard. As I have solar panels on my house, it may be an option that I would be interesred in, but only if the price is close to a model without it. I am very interested in the gen 4 prius. Loking forward to photos of the interior and more information on when it will be available and prices. Thanks, Allen Kropp

    1. 5teve-0 Post author

      Right now I am eyeing the 2014 Accord Plug-in. It’s the about the same price as the 2013 3rd gen Prius Plug-in Advanced model. If the 2015 Prius is anything like the Accord or exceeds it, I’m definitely trading my 2012 Four in.

  2. Allen Kropp

    I am very much interested in driver assist options: BSM, lane keep assist, attention assist, adaptive criuse. Not very interested in navigation (i have good hand held GPS) or entertainment features. A veriable volume control should be available for turn signal beeps. I have an 2010 Prius (third Prius) have loved them all-main fault is visibility A pillers & rear right quarter. Hope the gen 4 will offer some improvement on this. Also hope the dash is more like the Prius plus-simple knob for air controls, moniters and screens reflect sun making them difficult to see. I hope to buy a gen 4 Prius as soon as they are available. Thanks Allen

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