Toyota says new Prius due in 2015
YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Toyota has two important vehicles coming in 2015: the next-generation Prius hybrid and the company's first hydrogen fuel cell car.
Satoshi Ogiso, a top Toyota engineer who helped develop the original Prius 20 years ago, said Wednesday that the new Prius will get significantly better fuel economy than its current 50 miles per gallon. It will have an advanced battery, motor and gas engine combination that is smaller, lighter and cheaper than the current $24,000 version.
Ogiso wouldn't reveal the fuel economy, but he's hoping to at least match the 10-percent gains Toyota has gotten in the last three generations of Priuses. A 10 percent gain would get the Prius to 55 mpg.
Toyota hopes the revamped Prius will help it reach its goal of selling 5 million hybrids in the U.S. by 2016. As of July, the company had sold more than 2 million Toyota and Lexus hybrids.
Ogiso said more details about the hydrogen fuel cell car will come early next year. So far, there is only one other commercially available hydrogen fuel cell car in the U.S.: Honda's FCX Clarity, which is leased in limited numbers in Southern California.