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Toyota Prius to receive much-needed facelift?

Toyota Prius to receive much-needed facelift?

by Ben Hsu

The current Prius's controversial styling has resulted in a sales slump.

A subtly redesigned Toyota Prius is scheduled for debut this winter, according to reports from the Japanese press. It will adopt a look that is more like the existing Prius Prime, the information suggests.

According to Japanese site Spyder 7, Toyota has noticed a drop in sales numbers after the introduction of the fourth- and current-generation Prius. In Japan, the Aqua (known as the Prius c in the US) has dethroned the Prius as the company's best-selling hybrid model, an turn of events unthinkable during the previous-generation Prius's reign.

The reports say that Toyota seems to realize that the Prius's controversial styling as been its downfall, and the upcoming mid-model refresh will seek to address that. The Prius will receive no drivetrain improvements, though Toyota's latest Safety Sense system is expected and some weight savings will result in slightly better fuel economy. Most efforts will be focused on the exterior styling.

Spyder 7's sources say the headlights will be redesigned to house three LED elements, similar to those of the Prius Prime. The front intakes and foglamp housings will also be bigger, making for a more aggressive fascia, while flares over the front and rear wheel arches will make the flanks look less slab-sided. Finally, the taillights will adopt LED sequential turn signals.

The world premiere is scheduled for January 2019, but could come as early as December 2018.