The Toyota Prius has long been reigning as the king of the hybrid hill. But now with almost every other carmaker coming out with a hybrid powertrain option, the Japanese brand cannot afford to be complacent. While the fourth-generation model is already out, Toyota seems to be working on giving the larger Prius Plus a complete overhaul and possibly positioning it in a completely different segment.
Our spy snapper has sent us photos of a test vehicle with a clearly Prius fascia but sporting a much larger, crossover SUV body style. Although it’s wrapped in camouflage foil, you can see the overall lines and contours of the car clearly, with the front taking obvious cues from the current Prius. The flared wheel arches and taller ride height point to Toyota playing to the current global demand for high-riding vehicles. This is clearly an early mule as the engineers seem to have used a Lexus NX body, or at least parts of it here, as evidenced by the taillights.
And the fact that it is being tested at the Nürburgring suggests that it will make the most of what Toyota’s lightweight, modular, TNGA platform has to offer. We do not expect any surprises in the powertrain department with the same 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor combo from the regular Prius likely to power it.