As explained by the source cited by Automotive News, Toyota should have already built the first copy of the future Prius, but it is scheduled to be completed in November 2014. Commonly, the first copy of a future model is built almost a year before the start of series production at the factory, so that engineers have sufficient time to evaluate its quality and be able to avoid any problems that could intervene in the manufacturing process.
The anonymous source within Toyota could not say why the launch was postponed, but the most likely variant is the extension of the testing period and new drive train adjustments.
The new generation of the Toyota Prius, code-named 690A, is a true test bench for the future technologies of the brand. Whether we are talking about the standard lithium-ion batteries that are part of the improved hybrid system, or the new modular platform, for the entire Toyota corporation everything about the future Prius must be optimized for the lowest possible fuel consumption without forgetting the dynamics.
It’s precisely why it is expected the will Japanese focus more on testing the small adjustments to the suspension, steering and drive train to gain driving experience in line with customer expectations.
Toyota wants its new modular architecture to significantly reduce its costs, by sharing certain components, but the entire plan may be its Achilles heel, seeing that a defect in a common component for millions of units produced in a single year could lead to a costly recall. Even if we are talking about a part dedicated to the Prius model, sold in over one million units per year, Toyota could still have major headaches in the case of a recall.
The first information about the future Prius announces a thermal engine efficiency above 40 percent, in the context in which the value of the current hybrid engine, the most efficient of the entire Toyota corporation, is 38.5 percent. The higher this value the more energy reaches the wheels from the calorific value of the fuel.
Although Toyota representatives said they will not comment on the rumors emerging about the upcoming models in the range, a representative of the brand noted that the Prius will not get in 2016 the new semiconductor shown in May, the one that reduces by up to 10 percent fuel consumption of a model, because they will be ready for production only in 2020.
The new generation Toyota Prius will use the new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform and will benefit from a revolutionary design with a comfortable cabin. Maneuverability improvements are expected, thanks to a low center of gravity and a massive weight reduction of 20 percent. The company also wants to improve fuel efficiency by 10 percent compared to the current model, which debuted on the market in 2009.