Some detailed design sketches of what appears to be the 2016 Toyota Prius have popped up on a Taiwanese website, mobile.autonet.com.tw, along with information about the redesigned hybrid's hardware.
These images and the accompanying information are obviously to be taken with a grain of salt, but the sketches do look convincing. Styling elements borrowed from recent Toyota designs, most notably the hyrdrogen fuel cell-powered Mirai, appear throughout the exterior. The original publication claims both the standard hybrid version and its plug-in variant are shown. The front fascia and headlights are visible distinctions between the two versions.
While the styling might not be what everyone would call "handsome," the reported fuel economy should please most. The standard Prius is stated to have improved its efficiency 8 percent from 50 miles per gallon (U.S.) to 54 mpg. The slight boost is reportedly thanks to tweaks to the Hybrid Synergy Drive system. A 90-horsepower 1.8-liter DOHC VVT-i inline four-cylinder gasoline engine, likely Atkinson cycle like the 2015 version, is said to be retuned with electric water pump, Cool EGR exhaust gas recirculation system and exhaust heat recovery system to increase fuel efficiency and reduce engine warm-up time.
A CVT transmission with four driving modes -- Normal, Power, Eco, and EV -- like the present version, will come standard. The report claims total output has risen to between 145 and 150 horsepower, up from the 2015 model's 134 HP.
Currently, the plug-in hybrid Prius gets an EPA-estimated 11 miles of electric range, and 50 mpg (like the standard hybrid) rating. The same report says the 2016 version will get up to 31 miles per charge on the Japanese cycle, which equates to about 13 miles U.S.
The last bits of information include the 2016 Prius's dimensions, which are slightly larger than the current version, along with its curb weight. The 2015 model weighs 3,042 pounds while the 2016 redesign cuts that down to 2,843 pounds. As for the PHEV, the report says it will weigh 2,976 pounds compared to the 2015's 3,165 pounds.
Finally, the source confirms that the new Prius will be revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show in November.