The Toyota Prius was once an icon of green motoring, but a lot has changed in the electrified vehicle market in the last several years. The automaker is now working on the fifth generation of the hybrid vehicle, according to Autocar.
"It has to keep a role, and we have to make sure it will always be a front-runner with that kind of technology, so – although I can't disclose much – we don't want to waste our icon, even for the future," Vice President of Product and Marketing Management at Toyota Europe Andrea Carlucci told Autocar about the future of the Prius.
Gallery: 2021 Toyota Prius 2020 Edition
A report from Best Car in Japan suggests the new Prius debuts in December 2022. The new model allegedly uses an evolution of the current hybrid powertrain and a plug-in hybrid variant would still be available.
There's also a rumor of the Prius getting Toyota's hydrogen-burning internal combustion engine in 2025. Although refueling stations for hydrogen are still rare in the US, so it's not clear whether the company intends to sell this variant in America.
At the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota showed the wildly styled Ambient RD Prius PHV Concept. It's not clear whether the vehicle was purely a styling exercise or a preview of what the automaker was considering for the next-gen Prius. The styling was a futuristic take on the current model's shape but with the addition of bolder lines and a fin on the back.
The 2021 Toyota Prius received the oddly named 2020 Edition that celebrated the model's 20th anniversary of the American launch for the 2021 model year. Based on the XLE FWD trim level, it received black exterior trim, a body-color rear spoiler, five-spoke 17-inch black wheels. The cabin received dark accents and a smoked finish for the HVAC vents.