Automotive News reports the next generation of Prius, set to begin production in December of 2015, may get an all-wheel drive option in addition to its default front-drive layout.
“I think we will possibly do it,” said Koei Saga, senior managing officer in charge of powertrain development, speaking about all-wheel drive. Saga also says that there will be two different battery options available with the 2016 Prius, a low-cost nickel-metal hydride unit or a more expensive lithium ion pack.
The choice of two batteries could possibly deliver a low-cost version using the tried-and-true nickel-metal hydride technology that Toyota has used since it launched the Prius in 1997. And for those wanting longer electric-only driving range, a larger-capacity lithium ion pack could be offered as an upper trim model with a higher price.
The 2016 Prius will ride on a new platform, making the car lighter, smaller and more efficient. ”The batteries will be renewed. Everything will be revised. And I think we will come up with a fuel economy that will surprise everyone,” Saga said.
It looks like the top selling Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV may get some AWD competition.