But perhaps the most significant difference between generations of Prius is the improvement in fuel economy. The third gen Prius will reportedly boast a combined fuel economy of 50 MPG. Sure, that's only 4 MPH more than the 2nd gen Prius, but it boosts Toyota over an important psychological threshold. Under the hood, the 2010 Prius has adopted a brand-new beltless 1.8*litre four-cylinder 98-horsepower gas engine that runs at lower RPMs at highways speeds to help improve fuel economy.
The 2010 Prius will go on sale in the United States and Japan in late spring, with a first-year U.S. sales target of 180,000 units.