Oct 19, 2008

2010 Toyota Prius revealed in leaked photos: What's new?

Toyota has been coy about the appearance and features of its upcoming 2010 Prius hybrid vehicle, but somehow these pics leaked out. The photos show a Prius that's about the same shape as its predecessor, with wedgier-looking headlights and some nice-looking fog lamps that reside in what looks like a jet engine intake. There was no further word about its plug-in capabilities or that solar battery-charging roof.

On the inside — which Toyota says is roomer than the current Prius — we see a big improvement: the shifter is almost in a conventional location (see gallery below), compared to the goofy in-dash position of today's Prius. We also like that swooping dash with the gauges embedded closer to eye level, taking cues from the gorgeous Honda Civic Hybrid interior.

Under the hood, Toyota says it'll goose up the total horsepower to 150 from today's 110 and get better mileage, but still use those old-fashioned nickel hydride batteries rather than the more trendy and efficient lithium ion. Oh, well, rumors swirl that the newer batteries could be on the way, and rightfully so if this iconic car means to do battle with the upcoming Chevy Volt. The car looks okay, but we're just wishing Toyota would have taken a few more design chances than this.

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