Toyota’s fourth-generation Prius will give the option between a lithium-ion battery and a nickel-metal hydride unit, Toyota revealed in an interview with Automotive News.
“The batteries will be renewed. Everything will be revised. And I think we will come up with a fuel economy that will surprise everyone,” said Koei Saga, senior managing officer at Toyota.
The re-engineered nickel-metal-hydride battery, which is usually installed in the Prius, will possibly be cheaper than before while the larger-capacity lithium-ion battery might be the more costly option.
A further change to the hybrid car might be an all-wheel-drive (AWD) option in addition to its current front-wheel-drive. The AWD would make the vehicle heavier, but would meet the needs for rural customers.
Toyota also aims to revise the hybrid drivetrain to be used across a wider variety of vehicle configurations and model types.
Saga did not give any further details about the batteries or layout, but the new edition will debut the new modular vehicle architecture that aims to improve quality and reduce costs.
Toyota has announced to postpone the plug-in model from next spring until December 2015 to achieve their goal of a reduced consumption of 10% compared to the predecessor.