It’s pretty safe to assume that this slab-sided thing caught by the friendly people at our sister publication Motor Trend is undoubtedly a Toyota. It was seen this morning on the Interstate 405 just miles from Toyota’s Torrance headquarters; neighbor Honda typically uses California plates for its cars out our way.
But what it is remains unclear. With an egg shape that’s been around since the early 2000s, it’s safe to assume that it’s the 2015 Toyota Prius, the follow-up to the best-selling hybrid car in the world and also the best-selling car in California. Rumor has it that it’s designed to have a new hybrid all-wheel-drive system that will allow it to net more than 60 mpg, which would be a huge step up from the current car’s 51 mpg city/48 mpg highway.
In an earlier report, we were also told to expect its styling to be a radical departure from the current car’s, which is certainly not the case with the prototype seen above, so secretive that even its wheels are covered in a vinyl wrap to protect what is sure to be an aerodynamically optimized design. That leads us to believe that it could also be a prototype for the 2015 Toyota hydrogen-powered car, set to be released right around the same time as the next Prius. Said to be inspired by the “2015 Toyota FCV-R” concept car, the shape is definitely right.
That car will be Toyota’s first mass-market hydrogen car, rumored to be priced around $50,000, will be sold in California and potentially rolled out in other markets. We know the car is already finishing its powertrain development and is likely undergoing trial on public roads.
Either way, the car spotted here will be fuel-efficient and will likely raise the bar for environmental friendliness in the U.S. as CAFE 2025 standards loom closer, raising fuel economy to 54.5 mpg across the industry on average.
Source: Motor Trend