Next-gen Toyota Prius teased before L.A. debut next week

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The new Toyota Prius is headed for a reveal during the L.A. Auto Show. The Japanese carmaker put teasers for the fifth generation on its social media channels in Japan, one showing a liftback silhouette we've had two decades to get used to, one showing C-shaped headlights mimicking the Toyota Crown "Sport Type" crossover that we don't get. The Instagram photo came with two captions, one the date of November 16 when the segment-defining hybrid will debut, the other saying "Hybrid Reborn." The car in the Insta shot also has a wheel arch reflector, not a feature of cars in the Japan home market. It's likely that whatever we see debuted next Wednesday is exactly what we'll get.

We're expecting the new Prius on sale here next year, but we have no idea what's in store. With progress the name of the game and the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid topping out at 50 miles per gallon, 6 mpg behind the most frugal Prius, increased efficiency wouldn't be a surprise. That could come from overall fuel efficiency improvements or perhaps increased electric range for the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid that currently runs 25 miles on a full charge. A company spokesperson told British magazine Autocar last year that the Prius "has to keep a role, and we have to make sure it will always be a front-runner with that kind of technology. Although I can't disclose much, we don't want to waste our icon, even for the future."

There's been more than a year of rumor that the Prius range could gain some sort of hydrogen variant, which would take a step toward technology leadership, but it's not clear where those steps will lead for the transport industry's energy mix. Whatever the fuel or the efficiency, the next Prius is predicted to be more attractive than the current one that dates back to 2015.

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