12/11/2015

Next-Generation Prius Debuts in Japan

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Toyota Motor Corp. launched the all-new version of its Prius hybrid in Japan this week.

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Toyota Motor Corp. launched the all-new version of its Prius hybrid in Japan this week.

The car is selling in Japan at prices ranging from 2.4 million to 3.4 million yen ($19,800-$27,800). The new Prius will debut in Asia and North America in January and Europe in February.

The car, which was orignally launched 18 years ago, has not been redesigned since 2009. Worldwide sales peaked at 509,400 units five years ago but sagged to 207,400 in 2014. Analysts say demand has been hurt by declining fuel prices and the car's clunky styling.

The new model features considerably more dramatic lines, a 25% more fuel-efficient powertrain and what Toyota promises is a notably elevated fun-to-drive quotient.