2016 Toyota Prius: Leaked Technical Details Confirm e-AWD Option On Higher Models


2016 Toyota Prius Unveiling

2016 Toyota Prius Unveiling

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The 2016 Toyota Prius was unveiled earlier this month, but Toyota was short on details regarding the new hybrid.

And that's after two reveals, in Las Vegas and at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

But some additional information is now available, albeit unofficially.

DON'T MISS: 2016 Toyota Prius: Few Details At Global Launch Of 55-MPG Hybrid (Photos)

It now appears that higher-level Prius models will be offered with electric all-wheel drive (e-AWD).

This information comes from a leaked staff manual, acquired by Minkara (via Indian Autos Blog).

Electric all-wheel drive systems generally add an electric motor to the otherwise unpowered axle of a car.

2016 Toyota Prius

2016 Toyota Prius

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So perhaps the Prius will use an additional electric motor for its rear axle, augmenting the hybrid setup that powers the front axle.

The all-wheel drive system does impact fuel economy somewhat, according to the manual.

Toyota is expecting a 10-percent gain in fuel economy, which would bring the base 2016 Prius to 55 mpg combined in the U.S.

MORE: 2016 Toyota Prius: Official Auto Show Debut At Frankfurt Motor Show

The company is also promising a Prius Eco model with even greater efficiency.

The staff manual also shows that the Prius' internal-combustion engine will be a 1.8-liter, Atkinson-cycle unit.

Toyota has said this engine is capable of more than 40 percent thermal efficiency under certain operating conditions.

2016 Toyota Prius

2016 Toyota Prius

Enlarge Photo
The 2016 Prius is the first of what will likely be many models based on Toyota's New Generation Architecture, or TNGA.

This is essentially a set of components on which multiple vehicle types can be designed, and Toyota believes its flexibility will make developing new vehicles less expensive.

As far as the Prius goes, another effect of TNGA may also be improved handling.

The new platform allows for a lower center of gravity, helping to curb body roll, the manual says.

Toyota is making an effort to give the new Prius a sportier image.

In Japan at least, that means buyers will be able to get a body kit from Toyota Racing Development (TRD), and several custom wheel designs to choose from.

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