Toyota’s next-generation Prius range may look different to all before it, according to a new report.
Bloomberg reports that Toyota is considering moving the line-up’s styling away from the Prius’ now-trademark aerodynamic wedge profile, kicked up window line and upright taillights.
An all-new replacement for the mainstay Prius hatch model (as opposed to the c and v derivatives) is expected to be revealed within the next twelve months, but Toyota claims that this model’s styling is yet to be finalised.
“There’s an undercurrent among most people that they’re ready for a new Prius look. Maybe our architecture has been a little bit similar for the last two generations”, Toyota US planning boss Chris Hostetter said.
“One of the avenues we’re exploring right now is to evolve it, and the other is to really evolve it.”
This may seem odd for a nameplate headed toward record sales this year, and has led the hybrid/EV segment since the original Prius’ 1997 introduction.
However, increasing competition from other manufacturers could drive a move to less distinctive ‘form over function’ styling, aiding long-term mainstream appeal of the Prius nameplate.
Such a move would also be in line with Toyota boss Akio Toyoda’s desire for the world number one carmaker to build more exciting cars.
A move away from what has become an iconic - and polarising - shape is a significant step, however, and certainly a bolder move than endowing the new Camry and Corolla models with a more sporting look.
Time will tell if Toyota follows through on this one.