The Japanese automaker, the (interim) second largest carmaker in the world, is getting ready to unveil its next generation of the iconic Prius hybrid model during a media event scheduled in the United States in Las Vegas on September 8.
While the model is responsible alone for starting the hybrid segment – even though Honda beat its rival with its own hybrid car by a few months – but the completely redesigned Prius is reaching the markets amid an abysmal period for the sector – with sales of green vehicles impacted by the incredible plunge of oil prices. The unveil is now close enough but company officials have not yet revealed any additional details in regards to the model’s styling or technical details, such as the crucial fuel economy and range in electric mode. But since the model hasn’t had a major upgrade in seven years, we are expecting massive changes – reports say the next Prius will be longer, with a new design that would still keep the wedge shape, power will be updated and naturally we’ll also get a better fuel economy. Proponents also hope for more all-electric range and rumors even give as an optional the usage of a lithium-ion battery.
While going through a rough patch lately, as consumers are mesmerized by the cheaper fuel to buy larger crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks, the world’s most popular mass market hybrid was at times the top selling of all classes in certain markets – at home in Japan or in the green state of California. And while enduring a retracting consumership, industry figures put it as holding 82 percent of the US hybrid market during the first seven months of the year.