Toyota recently expanded its all-electric offerings with the China-only bZ3 sedan joining the globally available bZ4x crossover. As you may recall, it also teased a mysterious third model part of its Beyond Zero lineup of EVs. Fast forward to today, the company's green ambitions are being previewed with a shadowy teaser of a new eco-friendly model. This time around, it's a hybrid rather than a pure electric model, but what is it?
We'll have a definitive answer a week from today as Toyota says the premiere is scheduled to take place on November 16. The adjacent cryptic teasers were released on the company's Japanese social media channels. A dedicated section on the automaker's website for the domestic market is up and running with zero details, except for the debut date. There's no mention of what we're looking at, but we do know it's a hybrid rather than an EV.
Both teasers right above show "Hybrid Reborn" lettering while the silhouette belongs to a swoopy sedan/liftback. Could we be dealing with the next-generation Prius? The use of the word "reborn" hints it's a fresh take on an existing model rather than a new addition to the lineup. The fourth-gen Prius has been around since 2015, so the timeline makes sense for a successor to go on sale next year. Although that teased bZ model had a somewhat similar profile, that was a different car since bZ-badged models will all be EVs.
It's been a while since we last talked about the Prius. In December 2021, Vice President of Product and Marketing Management at Toyota Europe Andrea Carlucci told Autocar: "It [Prius] 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.” At that point, rumors pointed toward a December 2022 reveal, which wouldn’t be too far from the truth.
It is believed the next-gen Prius will continue in hybrid and plug-in hybrid configurations but there's an interesting rumor about a third flavor with a hydrogen-powered combustion engine due in 2025.