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Toyota will reveal a new hybrid model – understood to be a successor to the Prius – on Wednesday 16 November.

The car was previewed by an image posted to the firm’s Japanese social media accounts today, featuring the strapline “Hybrid Reborn” underneath a headlight. This indicates that the new model will use a different hybrid powertrain to today’s car, such as a plug-in hybrid system, or a motor-generator set-up (where a petrol engine generates electricity, while an electric motor drives the wheels) as used in the Nissan Qashqai e-Power

The new car is likely to be based on Toyota’s existing TNGA platform, which underpins models as varied as the Toyota Yaris, the Toyota Corolla and the new Lexus RX.

 

 

The images reveal little else, although the front-end styling appears to be similar to that of the Chinese-market Toyota bZ3 electric saloon, which uses innovative ‘Blade’ batteries supplied by BYD. 

Although Toyota traditionally places a high value on its established nameplates, having used the Corolla name since 1966, the new model might not be called ‘Prius’. 

The outgoing Prius was pulled from sale in the UK earlier this year, with the Corolla line filling the electrified C-segment gap in the line-up. 

The Prius has also been retired from the Japanese GT300 racing series, after a decade of contention. Hiroto Kaneso, boss of Apr Racing (which ran the Prius), told motorsport.com that its racer would not be replaced by a new Prius but by a different – secret – Toyota hybrid currently under development.

Despite recent reports that Toyota was accelerating its electrification efforts in response to the unexpectedly rapid uptake of EVs, hybrids will continue to play a key role in its strategy.

Speaking about electrification, Toyota Research Institute boss Gill Pratt told Autocar in July: “My wife and I bought a Tesla Model X, because we’re good friends with a chief engineer on that car. It’s an incredible car. But my wife used it to commute 30 miles a day, which meant 90% of the battery wasn’t being used most of the time. We were just dragging all this weight, all these raw materials, around.



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