Toyota Releases More Details on 2016 Prius

img 931562413 1441810415764 jpg 2016 Toyota Prius; | photo by Kelsey Mays

Toyota today released more information on the redesigned-for-2016 Prius, shedding a bit more light on how the best-selling hybrid intends to achieve that anticipated 10 percent fuel-economy boost. Though official EPA figures are still not out, Toyota said the new Prius’ body and powertrain components are lighter.

Related: 2016 Toyota Prius: First Look

The new Prius uses a re-engineered version of its 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine, from which the automaker promises better performance and mileage. The transaxle and electric motor have also been redesigned to be more compact and, as a result, lighter, while a 20 percent reduction in friction losses and reconfiguration of the gears has enabled an improved power-to-weight ratio, according to the automaker.

Two newly available batteries — a lithium-ion battery pack and a nickel-metal-hydride one — have increased energy density and are more space efficient than the outgoing units; Toyota says they now fit beneath the rear seat, increasing cargo space.

Horsepower figures have not yet been announced, but Toyota says much of the gas engine’s purported performance boost is achieved through temperature control measures. For example, a new exhaust gas recirculation system provides more thermal efficiency, and a redesigned air intake port improves airflow inside the combustion chamber. In addition, friction between sliding engine components has been reduced. Toyota also said software updates will improve acceleration feel.

Stay tuned for more 2016 Toyota Prius details.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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