Report: Next Toyota Prius to Be Lighter, Far More Efficient

By Jacob Brown | November 25, 2013
It almost goes without saying that the next Toyota Prius will be more fuel-efficient than the current-generation model, given that the team at the world's largest automaker has six years to perfect the technology found within it. But now we're starting to get a little more of the nitty gritty about the car that's expected to arrive within the next year. At a recent trip to Japan, Automotive News discovered that the next-gen Prius would adopt Toyota's TNGA architecture. If you haven't read our report on the TNGA--short for Toyota Next-Generation Architecture--among a long list of other technologies the automaker showed us, it's a lighter-weight component kit that will help simplify the build process of many a new Toyota. That, in turn, will make Toyota more profitable and its cars a little more fun to drive. It will also help drive up the 2015 Toyota Prius' efficiency. Toyota's Mitsuhisa Kato says the engine in the TNGA engine componentry should achieve greater than 40 percent thermal efficiency. What that means to you: It will use more of its energy to make power and less of it to make wasted heat. By comparison, the current Prius' thermal efficiency is only somewhere around 38.5 percent. Prius chief engineer Satoshi Ogiso says it could be as high as 42 percent in the next Prius.
The TNGA cars are expected to make their way throughout Toyota's entire lineup by 2020. The Prius is expected to be among the first cars to share this architecture, with parts used throughout Toyota's lineup to maximize efficiency. At a trip in Michigan to check out Toyota's worldwide hybrid lineup, we were told to expect upwards of 55 mpg in combined driving for the next car. We'll know soon enough whether the car can deliver when it's released. Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)