The “Hybrid Reborn” was crafted with what the car “needs to remain popular for the next 25 years.” The new models will thus feature “sporty exterior styling that appeals to the senses,” as well as “interior styling that fuses ‘fun to drive’ with ‘sophisticated.'”
“For the Prius HEV to continue as the vehicle of choice for the coming generation, the new Prius needed more than its core strength as an environmentally friendly car,” Toyota said in a press release. “Therefore, it was developed as an exhilarating package, with stylish designs that users will fall in love with at first sight and captivating driving performance.”
Toyota has emphasized the need for equipping vehicles with technologies for when charging is available as well as when it’s not. Simon Humphries, Toyota’s design chief, dubbed the new iteration of the Prius “an EV with an engine.”
“We wanted to make a car that people would choose not only for its rational benefits but also its emotional experience,” he explained.
And with the rate at which consumers are switching to electric vehicles, the company isn’t killing its hybrid options just yet.
Several companies have unveiled plans for fully electric vehicles, some even doing away with their hybrid models. For example, General Motors has announced plans to halt sales of vehicles with tailpipe emissions by 2035.
Toyota has faced criticism for not moving fast enough to focus solely on electric vehicles. But Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda has remained skeptical that electric vehicles are the only path toward carbon neutrality, and has reiterated that the company will sell a variety of vehicles. “That’s our strategy and we’re sticking to it,” he said in September.
Toyota’s Series Parallel Hybrid (HEV) models will launch in the winter of 2022, while the Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) models will be sold in the spring of 2023.