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When a Prius Changes Shape, Is It Still a Prius?

November 7th, 2012
Toyota NS4 concept

Will the next Prius look like this NS4 concept?

The shape of the Toyota Prius defines it as much as its name. In its earlier days, people wanted the hybrid to look different so it was immediately clear to other motorists that the driver cared for the environment and believed in saving money at the pump. That was a time when hybrid buyers were more Ed Begley, Jr., than regular families looking to save a few bucks.

Of course, the Prius’ wedge-like shape also contributes greatly to aerodynamics, helping push mileage figures ever higher.

The current-generation Prius has looked mostly the same since the Bush Administration. Can a new Prius, that looks nothing like a Prius, still sell well for Toyota?

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