2016 Toyota Prius spy shots - Image: Motor AuthorityEnlarge Photo
The Toyota Prius has one of the most distinctive profiles on the road, and as new spy shots reveal, that familiar silhouette is unlikely to change for the next generation.
The full set of spy shots, coming to us via our sister site Motor Authority, clearly shows the Prius's aerodynamics-influenced shape will appear once again when the final car is unveiled late in 2015 in 2014.
Although heavily wrapped in camouflage, it's still possible to make out the one-box profile and its high, sharply cut-off tail.
It's impossible to make out clear details below the thick body covers, but the 2016 Prius is expected to take influences from recent concepts like the NS4 plug-in hybrid and FT-Bh compact hybrid concepts.
The interior design is likely to remain a mystery for the time being, too.
While interior shots are clearly visible in the photos, they look nearly identical to the facia design used in the Lexus CT 200h, with which the current Prius shares its drivetrain. It's likely the Lexus dashboard is being used simply for testing, and that an entirely new design will debut in the actual car.
The 2016 Prius will feature some changes under the skin as well.
Toyota recently revealed it's stepping up production of lithium-ion batteries for its future models. This hints that the Prius may finally ditch its nickel-metal hydride battery pack for the next generation, as many other automakers have recently done in their own hybrids.
Fuel economy should also improve over the current car's 50 mpg combined, helping to keep the Prius name at the top of gas mileage charts. A lighter-weight body and better aerodynamics should both contribute to the improved figure.
As with the current model, a plug-in hybrid version is also likely, and new Prius C and Prius V models will almost certainly emerge further down the line.