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Next-Gen Toyota Prius Production Pushed Back to December 2015

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/1/2014 Conner Golden
2015-toyota-prius-prototype-front-left-side© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-toyota-prius-prototype-front-left-side

Buyers hoping to purchase the upcoming fourth-generation Toyota Prius are going to have to wait until December 2015, as Automotive News reports production has been delayed from the originally planned spring 2015 launch. The exact reasons for the delay are unclear, but the most likely one is that project engineers need to work out details and make adjustments on the new range-wide modular platform, as well as an updated next-generation hybrid drivetrain system.

2015-toyota-prius-prototype-front-three-quarter-above© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-toyota-prius-prototype-front-three-quarter-above

The next-gen Prius, codenamed 690A, will ride on Toyota’s new modular vehicle platform. Dubbed the Toyota New Global Architecture, this modular approach to chassis and components keeps the overall production cost down, while increasing quality across the board. This aids in ensuring the consumer pays less for repairs and maintenance.

Along with an updated chassis and platform, the fourth-gen Prius will debut the next generation of hybrid technology. Development goals include increasing efficiency by 10 percent over the previous hybrid drivetrain. “We need to prioritize fuel-efficiency,” said Satoshi Ogiso, managing officer for Toyota product planning, to AN. This next generation of hybrid technology will be developed to give engineers access to a wide range of engines and platforms, moving beyond availability for just the Camry-based vehicles.

One piece of technology that's too far out to make it in time for the fourth-gen Prius is an energy-saving computer chip revealed by Toyota back in May. The chip is composed of silicon carbide as opposed to traditional silicon. The new silicon carbide chips undergo only a tenth of the energy loss experienced by conventional silicon chips. Expect to see this new innovation implemented by 2020.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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