The 2016 Toyota Prius made its world premiere this week in Las Vegas, where the manufacturer touted vehicle upgrades "inside and out"—from a longer and sleeker exterior to a wraparound dash and wide instrument panel inside.
"Prius set the global benchmark for hybrids, but now is breaking its own boundaries with more engaging style and fun-to-drive dynamics," Toyota general manager Bill Fay said in a statement. "What was once a rational purchase that for many customers focused on fuel economy, is now so much more."
Toyota promised a 10 percent improvement in EPA estimated miles per gallon (MPG) on the new Prius; the 2015 model gets 51 city and 48 highway miles per gallon. An upcoming Eco model, meanwhile, will do even better than that, though the car maker did not elaborate.
Toyota, however, argued that "it's not just about MPG anymore." Finding inspiration in runners at the starting blocks, Toyota said it designed the new Prius to convey the feeling of forward motion—the roof peak was moved forward, nearer to the lowered hood, and the rear spoiler has also been pushed down. It's also slightly larger, with a few inches added overall.
On the tech front, the fourth-generation Prius will be among the first U.S. cars to offer Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, and automatic high beams.
Toyota Safety Sense will be on nearly all models by the end of 2017, the company said.
Buyers can choose from seven exterior colors, including Toyota's new "Hypersonic Red" hue (pictured). Bling things up inside with the option to add white ornamentation to the lower sections of the cabin.
"This Prius will invite new drivers into the category by delivering an impressive look and feel, built on the foundation of safety and eco-consciousness that define the vehicle's heritage," Fay said.