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Brand New Toyota Prius

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Steane Klose | Nov 21, 2008

We had confirmed that earlier leaked images of the 2010 Toyota Prius were the real deal. Now it seems that a few more images have made their way online, thanks to the members of PriusChat (and Toyota has again confirmed their authenticity). At this rate there will be little new to see when the wraps come off the 2010 Prius at its Detroit Motor Show debut.

The biggest changes would appear to be found inside the cabin where a prominent display unit takes centre-stage within the console stack. This display is likely to handle a host of duties including navigation, entertainment, HVAC functions and fuel economy information.

2010_Toyota_Prius_Display

We reported earlier that improvements to drive-train components were expected and word is the current 1.5 litre petrol engine will be replaced with a 1.6 litre unit. Despite the increase in displacement and power, fuel economy will further improve to 4.9 l/100kms for the city cycle and 5.22 l/100kms on the highway. (Hmm, some diesels are getting close to those figures.)

A lighter body and improved batteries will extend the Prius' electric-only driving mode which explains why the city figures are better than that achieved on the highway, where the petrol engine is required.

2010_Toyota_Prius_plug

Solar panels to assist in powering auxiliary systems, such as the Prius' electronic steering, and a lithium-ion plug-in version are also on the cards. Though there's every chance these modifications may be seen in the next generation Prius.

A small jump in price is expected though Toyota claims it will be quite minimal and a new production facility has been confirmed to meet the expected high demand. Toyota is said to be increasing total volume to around 480,000 units annually so there will be plenty of the iconic hybrids to go round.

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