Revealed: new Toyota Prius

  • More powerful 1.8-litre engine
  • New hybrid system is lighter and smaller
  • Sources hint at 70mpg and 90g/km of CO2
This is the new Toyota Prius – although we'll have to wait until the Geneva motor show in March to be told the all-important economy and emissions figures.

Toyota launched the car at the Detroit motor show today, confirming that the latest hybrid car will be powered by a larger 1.8-litre petrol engine, which can run in conjunction with an electric motor or alone.

The current Prius uses a 112bhp 1.5-litre engine, averages 65.7mpg and emits 104g/km of carbon dioxide. It accelerates from 0-62mph in 10.9s.

Although no official figures have been released, company insiders suggest the new car will be capable of around 70mpg on average, with emissions of around 90g/km of CO2. That will make it VED road tax free. The 0-62mph time for the car is expected to fall by around a second.

To incorporate the larger engine, Toyota has focussed on weight savings and better packaging of the hybrid system, which is lighter and smaller than the current unit.

Further weight-savings were achieved through the use of lightweight aluminium and high-tensile steel to build the car

Toyota also says the new Prius' platform provides better handling, stability and safety.

The bodywork has also been tested in a wind tunnel to provide the least drag of any mass-produced car on sale.

In particular, attention has been paid to airflow beneath the car, to reduce running noise, improve stability and improve fuel efficiency.

The new Prius is slightly longer than the current model, while the roofline has been altered to improve rear seat headroom. The repackaged hybrid system also allows for a larger boot.

The new Toyota Prius will go on sale in the UK this summer.

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