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Published on November 11th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Toyota Prius To Get A New Look In 2013?

Toyota Motor Corp., closing in on record global sales of Prius models, is studying whether to keep the hybrid line’s aerodynamic wedge-shape as the automaker designs the next-generation of the car. “There’s an undercurrent among most people that they’re ready for a new Prius look,” said Chris Hostetter, Toyota’s U.S. group vice president for strategic planning, who’s working with Toyota engineers on the redesign. “Maybe our architecture has been a little bit similar for the last two generations.” While the carmaker hasn’t yet selected a look from “a menu to choose from” for the next Prius, “one of the avenues we’re exploring right now is to evolve it, and the other is to really evolve it,” Hostetter said in a phone interview last month, without elaborating.
The redesigned Prius will arrive in the spring of 2014. Toyota’s push to broaden Prius’s appeal coincides with record deliveries of gasoline-electric cars bearing that name this year, and its top sales rankings in markets including Japan and California.

Stricter U.S. fuel-economy rules and tougher hybrid competition from Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. are also spurring Toyota, which has led the segment for 15 years. Global Prius sales including the main hatchback, V wagon, plug-in model and subcompact Prius C, sold in Japan as the Aqua surged to 691,281 this year through September, 60 percent more than the total for last year, according to figures provided by the company. The previous Prius sales record was 509,399 units in 2010, when Toyota offered only the hatchback.

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