Despite hybrid technology being added to many Toyota models, the company believes the Prius is still relevant
The new model could arrive in 2022 for the 2023 model year
It could be powered by a hydrogen engine and a hybrid powertrain
The Toyota Prius was the very first hybrid car to reach mass production in the late 90s and this has made it an icon and a must have vehicle for everyone who liked to show their eco-consciousness at the turn of the millennium.
Throughout the years however, the popularity of the Prius lessened, in no small part due to the proliferation of hybrid technology, notably in Toyota’s own lineup, since the company now sells hybrid versions of many vehicles, from the Corolla to the Tundra.
This makes the Prius seem more and more irrelevant, but its manufacturer is decided to keep it around by introducing a new generation of the model during the next year.
According to the company, the Prius is an icon that Toyota needs to preserve, and to do so, it could pioneer a new powertrain technology, just like it did over 20 years ago.
Indeed, not a great deal of details are known about this yet, but the 5th generation of the Prius could by the first vehicle on our roads to be powered by a hybrid system that relies on a combustion engine that burns hydrogen.
This technology has been developed by Toyota for a few years and a Corolla race car powered by such an engine has been entered in a race series in Japan.
This technology is different from the other hydrogen cars currently on the market, such as Toyota’s own Mirai.
In the case of the Mirai, the hydrogen serves to create electricity that then powers electric motors, so in effect, it is an electric car with an hydrogen tank instead of a battery.
In the case of an hydrogen engine, the hydrogen is burned by a combustion engine just like regular fuel, but the polluting emissions are kept to a minimum, with only a little bit of oil that is burned while driving.
The next generation of Prius will be unveiled somewhere in 2022 for the 2023 model year.