Legend Reborn: The all-new 2016 Prius

Legend Reborn: The all-new 2016 Prius



The all-new 2016 Toyota Prius does what every new Prius before it has done — sets a new bar for hybrid efficiency.
Only this time, the world’s best-selling and best-loved hybrid also gets a performance boost in the “emotional engagement” department.
More exciting to look at, and more exciting to drive, but also with new ground-breaking hybrid technology, the new Prius seems poised to invite more Canadians to become hybrid drivers, and to forge deep, meaningful relationships with those drivers.
In an interview with club Toyota magazine, Stephen Beatty, Vice-President, Toyota Canada, remarked, that the new stylish efficiency and intelligent technology of this new Prius will enact a “shift in people’s perception of what’s possible from a hybrid.”
“The exterior has a particularly emotional appearance, thanks in part to a new platform that enables a low-slung silhouette, akin to a sports car,” said Beatty.

The Prius evokes the stance of a runner in the starting blocks. A bold side character line begins at the front fenders and sweeps up the rear fenders. The upper crease of this line morphs into the rear spoiler.

State-of-the-art backbone
In fact, Prius is the first to debut the groundbreaking Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which Toyota says marks a revolution in the way the company designs, engineers and manufactures vehicles.
Leveraging the might of TNGA, the 2016 Prius offers several significant upgrades over its predecessor:

  • The longer (by 60 mm), wider (by 15 mm), and lower (by 20 mm) stance delivers a more planted on-road presence and feel, and more interior and cargo space.
  • The lower centre of gravity, more responsive suspension package (including an all-new rear double-wishbone), and a significantly more rigid body — with 60 per cent more torsional rigidity — combine to increase driving prowess and out right driving fun.
  • The stronger body uses more high-strength steel, and provides enhanced crash protection.
    Lower profile

The new body style announces the new lower and more athletic Prius theme. The front is where you also find the new sleek LED headlights and expressive, low-slung fascia. From the side, the Prius evokes the stance of a runner in the starting blocks. A bold side character line begins at the front fenders and sweeps up the rear fenders. The upper crease of this line morphs into the rear spoiler. The rear is lit up by thin and beautiful LED lighting. All this makes Prius as modern facing as it gets, while maintaining that iconic Prius silhouette.
Prius cover back C copy
back profile_web
side profile_web

Inside and out
The Prius has always had an out-of-the-ordinary interior. As an ambassador and pioneer for the hybrid movement, its displays were always focused on providing the driver with information on energy consumption and creation, and this interaction often helped build a strong bond between driver and machine.
The interior has been designed to be emotive and impactful, promoting “ingenious beauty.” The iconic human-tech design calls for clear, symbolic arrangement of information, and the elimination of excess, to create a spacious cabin with a unified feel.
The designers intended to create an emotionally pleasing space, with easy access to controls and information, in an uncluttered, consistent style.
Interior highlights include a wide, wrap-around instrument panel, an available Head-Up Display, form-hugging seats, and outstanding visibility afforded by the cab-forward, low-hood design.
Also new are the available premium white ornamentation on the steering wheel and in the lower sections of the cabin, and the S-flow air conditioning system, which automatically focuses airflow only to areas where people are seated to maximize the cold air and save energy.
2016_Toyota_Prius_Touring-18 (1) copy
Re-engineered engine
The Prius has a 1.8-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine running on the Atkinson cycle, which allows the engine to focus on highway efficiency and performance.
The Prius can also lean on the electrically-driven powertrain, for the perfect tag-team effort to get where you’re going with the least amount of energy consumed.
The new 1.8-litre engine was completely re-engineered to be better at everything. For one thing, it has one of the highest thermal efficiency percentages of any mass-produced gasoline engine.
This engine is also smaller and lighter than the one it replaces, and that’s definitely the theme for the entire gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain. Electric motor/generators, transaxle, power control unit, and hybrid batteries are all smaller, all lighter, and all more efficient.
For example, the transaxle achieves less reduction in mechanical losses compared to the current Prius, made possible by multi-shaft positioning of the electric motors, and the relocation of the final drive reduction gear onto the same axis as the drive motor.
And the power control unit (the computerized brains of the powertrain) now has “low loss” components, for more reduction in electrical losses.
Major battery developments
The hybrid batteries, now more compact and powerful, have been relocated to the space under the seats. The auxiliary (or regular) battery has also been relocated; its new position is in the engine compartment. Net result: the behind-the-rear-seat luggage area increases capacity by 85 litres, increasing cargo capacity to 776 litres for models with the optional tire repair kit.
And for the first time, Prius has market-specific hybrid batteries — either Nickel-Metal Hydride or Lithium-ion.

The new Prius also gets more efficiency through the new automatic grille shutter, which opens and closes the grille depending on outside temperatures.

More fuel efficient
The new Prius also gets more efficiency through the new automatic grille shutter, which opens and closes the grille depending on outside temperatures.
“From its inception in 1997, Prius has always been a symbol of advanced technology, environmentally-friendly low CO₂ emissions and efficiency,” said Beatty. “The new Prius retains its DNA but is now even better.”
Toyota recently announced through its Environment Action Plan (EAP) that Toyota has decided to challenge itself to reduce vehicle CO₂ emissions by 90 per cent in comparison with 2010 levels, by 2050.
“Prius and hybrids in general have an important role in that,” said Beatty. “In addition to hybrids, we will achieve the 90 per cent reduction in CO₂ through a suite of advanced technologies, from weight reduction to thermal efficiency to hydrogen fuel cells.”
While the 2016 Prius and the Mirai fuel-cell vehicle are two different cars using different technologies, Beatty noted that the Mirai would not have been possible, “without the advance in technology we have made with our hybrids.”
*Prototype shown with optional equipment. Production models may vary.


Prius has a special role within Toyota — to push the envelope on efficiency and low emission technologies, and then share this expertise with other members of the Toyota family.
New levels of thermal efficiency
The 1.8-litre VVT-i gasoline engine in the 2016 Prius has been completely re-engineered, with remarkable results in terms of performance, fuel economy, and reductions to size and weight. “The new engine achieves a ground-breaking maximum thermal efficiency of 40 per cent,” said Stephen Beatty, Vice-President, Toyota Canada.
Thermal efficiency in a combustion engine is defined as the percentage of the chemical energy stored in a fuel that can be converted into heat energy. A combustion engine then uses that heat to make mechanical work, like turning the crankshaft.
Additionally, a redesigned air intake port improves airflow inside the combustion chamber, while the coolant passages have been redesigned to optimize internal engine temperature.
Safety firsts
The 2016 Prius will be among the first Canadian models to offer Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), a new multi-feature active safety package. A Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, and its system of cameras, radar, and sensors anchor TSS-P.
Pre-collision braking can automatically brake the Prius when both pedestrians and vehicles are in danger of making contact with the Prius, and the driver
is not currently braking.
Also part of the TSS-P is Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Automatic High Beams.
Also there to help prevent injury to both people and metal is Toyota’s newly developed Simple Intelligent Parking Assist, which uses ultrasonic sensors to detect surrounding objects and identify parking spots. The vehicle controls the steering wheel to help position the vehicle into the space while the driver controls the speed with the brake pedal.
New global architecture strategy
The 2016 Prius is the first vehicle built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). TNGA is not only a new platform or architecture but also it is Toyota’s completely new and holistic way of creating and building vehicles.
TNGA is a modular architecture that can be used for many different vehicle types.
TNGA provides an incredibly rigid and strong structure for high levels of crash protection and quiet ride. This is because of its increased use of high strength steel, and new manufacturing techniques, such as “laser screw welding” that allows for welds at shorter intervals along the frame compared with spot welding, new body adhesives, and ring-shaped frame structures.
Toyota calculates that TNGA will reduce the amount of manpower required for vehicle development by 20 per cent, giving it more time to devote to designing and building even better vehicles.