Though a lot of cars with brilliant new ideas have come along in the last few years, the Toyota Prius is still the best-selling green car on the planet. To capture a different kind of green, both Ford and Hyundai are eschewing full electrics for hybrid models that compete directly with Toyota’s popular fuel-sipper. And Toyota itself is telegraphing plans to build an all-new Prius.
Reuters reports that two sources with knowledge of the company’s plans revealed that the compact car will be “Ford’s first ‘dedicated’ hybrid – that is a vehicle designed to be marketed exclusively as a hybrid, rather than a variation of an existing gasoline model, such as the automaker’s Fusion hybrid, the sources said. The as-yet-unnamed vehicle will be built just outside Detroit.”
Meanwhile, Autoblog.com is publishing spy photos of what it thinks is a dedicated hybrid car aimed directly at the Prius from Hyundai. “Our photographers believe these mules hint at an all-new hybrid model, which makes us think of the Blue Will concept from the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. At the time, Hyundai said the concept could be a preview of a future dedicated hybrid that would compete with the Prius.”
With all that competition on the horizon, John Gorham at TorqueNews.com indicates that Toyota’s launch of the new 2015 Toyota Prius Persona special edition is evidence that an all-new 2016 model is on the way. “Automakers all have their traditions and rolling out a ‘Special Edition’ shortly before the introduction of an entirely new model is one of them. Toyota’s 2015 Prius Persona Series should do the trick for Toyota.”