Toyota is working on wireless charging systems for its next-gen Prius, intending to put such connection-free technology into verification testing in 2014 in the US, Japan, and Europe. The inductive charging system will be able to transfer power to a Prius or other Toyota hybrid vehicle without requiring a physical connection.The 2015 Prius traversing Los Angeles surface streets with every last inch of sheetmetal obscured and looking a bit like a cloth-skinned armadillo. Even the wheels are covered. It’s been some time since we’ve seen a test mule wearing fabric cloaking this extensive, which indicates to us the exterior styling is either finalized or close to it.
All 2014 Prius v trim levels will come with DRLs. Also, the Panoramic View Moonroof that is currently only available as a part of the Advanced Technology Package on the Prius v Five will now be available as a stand-alone option on Prius v Three.The Prius V comes standard with fabric seats, a tilting/telescoping steering wheel, and automatic climate control. The standard rear seat slides fore and aft, reclines from 15 to 40 degrees, and has a 60/40 split folding back.
Toyota has fitted a vinyl cover to shield the gap between the load floor and the folded seat back when the rear seat is in its forward position.Much better mileage than Volt (and C-Max) when gas engine’s running.Can run for 14 or so miles without the gas engine running at all.More passenger space – and cargo room – than Volt. Although early reports indicated that the Toyota NS4 Advanced Plug-In hybrid concept it showed in Detroit last year offered a sneak peak at the styling for the fourth-generation Prius, you’d never guess it by the silhouette of the car in these photographs. Aerodynamics play a major role in any car focused on efficiency, so we expect it to be sleek, but the profile of the car pictured above is a near carbon copy of the current model.
At the top of the range is the Prius V Five, at a bit more than $31,000. Inside, that adds a six-way adjustable driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support plus a four-way adjustable front passenger seat, both of them heated and trimmed in SofTex fabric. Other upgrades include 10-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels; fog lamps; LED headlamps; and a smart-key system.The plug-in Prius starts at $32,000 – vs. $24,200 for the standard (non-plug-in) version. The Advanced version – which comes with numerous luxury amenities, including leather seats, a premium JBL audio rig, HID lights and heads-up display – lists for $39,525.Calendar year 2013 is the first year the plug-in Prius became available nationwide. It will hold the line until the arrival next summer of the 2015 (model year) Prius.Toyota isn’t the only company working on inductive charging systems, of course. Various systems have already been put into public service, albeit generally at low, test-scale implementations. Qualcomm’s Halo system, which we tested out last November, will go into a limited trial in London in 2014.The Prius could be – and should be – lighter. The current model weighs in at just under 3,200 lbs. If that were cut down to 2,800 lbs. or so, 70 MPG would probably be possible – and probably 20-plus miles on electric power alone.