The UK’s AutoExpress reports that Toyota’s fuel economy target for the upcoming next-generation Prius is 40 kilometers/liter (2.5 l/100km, or 94 mpg US), and that the automaker is striving to have the new Prius on the road as early as 2008.
According to a Toyota engineer quoted by the publication, the entire electrical system is being redesigned to improve the fuel economy, and the automaker is working to switch to a lithium-ion battery system from the NiMH pack used in the current Prius.
Part of the impetus for the dramatic improvement in fuel consumption is to position the Prius to compete more effectively against the more fuel-efficient diesels that now dominate the European market, according to the report.
At 94 mpg, the redesigned Prius would approach the lower end of the projected 100–150 mpg fuel consumption of EDrive’s aftermarket plug-in Prius. (Earlier post.) The EDrive conversion currently carries a price tag of about $12,000 in addition to the cost of the base Prius.
The AutoExpress report did not indicate if Toyota was working with a plug-in configuration, or if the company is exploring major changes in the combustion engine.