Generation 1.5 (2001-2003)

Generation 1.5 (2001-2003)

Generation 1.5 (2001-2003)

Generation 1.5 (2001-2003)

Generation 1.5 (2001-2003)

Generation 2 (2004-2009)

Generation 2 (2004-2009)

Generation 2 (2004-2009)

Generation 2 (2004 -2009)

Generation 2 (2004-2009)

Generation 2 (2004-2009)

Generation 2 (2004-2009)

Generation 3 (2010-2015)

Generation 3 (2010-2015)

Generation 3 (2010-2015)

Generation 3 (2010-2015)

Generation 3 (2010-2015)

Generation 3 (2010-2015)

Generation 3 (2010-2015)

Generation 3 (2010-2015)

Generation 3 (2010-2015)

Toyota Prius v

Toyota Prius c

Generation 4 (2016)

Generation 4 (2016)

Generation 4 (2016)

Generation 4 (2016)

Generation 4 (2016)

Generation 4 (2016)

Generation 4 (2016)

Generation 4 (2016)

Generation 4 (2016)

Generation 4 (2016)

Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota's Prius hybrid debuted in the Japanese market in 1997 with the internal designation NHW10, but a slightly revised NHW11 didn't reach North American shores until 2001.

Caption by / Photo by Toyota

This first model is the only sedan in the Prius' almost 20 year history.

Caption by / Photo by Toyota

The Prius was the world's first mass-manufactured compact electric car at it launch. Fuel economy, based on revised testing methods, was 42 city, 41 highway and 41 combined mpg.

Caption by / Photo by Toyota

The compact was motivated by the Toyota Hybrid System, which mated a 70 horsepower, 1.5-liter gasoline engine with a 44 horsepower electric motor.

Caption by / Photo by Wieck/Toyota

The interior was spartan, by we can already see the hallmarks -- such as the eyebrow digital instruments -- that would define the Prius' dashboard design for years to come.

Caption by / Photo by Toyota

In 2003, the next generation Prius debuted. Sold as a 2004 model with the XW20 internal codename, the second generation model solidifies Prius design language going forward.

Caption by / Photo by Toyota

The Prius grows to a midsize class and transforms into a hatchback. Every Prius model that flows will have a similar hatchback profile.

Caption by / Photo by Toyota

The new slippery body results in an aerodynamic 0.26 coefficient of drag.

Caption by / Photo by Toyota

The Toyota Hybrid System II under the hood mates a 1.5-liter, 76 horsepower gasoline engine with a 67 horsepower electric motor. Total system power is stated at 110 horsepower.

Caption by / Photo by Toyota

The interior is more spacious than the first-gen, but retains the standard central screen and horizontal digital display at the base of the windshield. Like all Prius vehicles, there's no conventional gauge cluster ahead of the steering wheel.

Caption by / Photo by Toyota

Toyota's Hybrid System II stores its electric energy in a 1.31 kWh nickel metal-hydride battery pack. That capacity and technology doesn't change much for two generations and four models.

Caption by / Photo by Toyota

The EPA figures the Prius will do 48 mpg during city driving, 45 mpg on the highway driving and return 46 mpg combined.

Caption by / Photo by Toyota

In 2009, the 2010 model year Prius made its debut. Of course, it was larger, more efficient and easier to live with.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The third generation model hides major revisions beneath a body's design that doesn't change significantly.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The coefficient of drag drops to 0.25, keeping the Prius in its position as the most aerodynamic production car on the road at the time.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Toyota's Hybrid System grows to accommodate a 1.8-liter, 98 horsepower gasoline engine, which brings total system horsepower to 134 ponies.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The interior design continues to evolve, becoming more futuristic in this third generation.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The electronic shifter gains a jewel-like translucent blue hue.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The eyebrow display at the top of the dashboard grows to accommodate and display more data.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Despite being more powerful and larger, the Prius continues to grow more efficient.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

EPA estimates grow to 51 mpg city, 48 mpg highway and 50 mpg combined.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Model number XW40 belongs to the slightly larger offshoot of the Prius family, the Prius v. The more "versatile" variant features more space for those who need it.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Next, Toyota adds the compact, city-friendly Prius c to the mix. The smaller model is a bit more efficient in the city than the third-generation Prius, but a bit less on the highway.

Caption by / Photo by Toyota

The fourth generation Prius arrived just this year with the internal designation XW50. The new model features a radically styled design. However, if you look closely, you'll see many of the hallmarks of Prius design.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Like the previous two generations, the new Prius is an elongated liftback.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Active and passive aerodynamic tricks help Toyota to further streamline the hybrid, reducing the coefficient of drag to just 0.24.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The Hybrid System actually steps down in power. Peak system power is stated at 121 horsepower, but the transmission has been tweaked to use that power more efficiently.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Inside, the cabin makes a major step up in maturity and fit and finish, but does so while keeping the elements that make a Prius a Prius.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The electronic shifter retains its asymmetrical design and translucent blue material, but now features a tulip shape that is simply gorgeous.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The eyebrow cluster at the top of the dashboard is now a full color array of displays that is as easy to interact with as ever, despite boasting more information than ever.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Fuel economy jumps to 54 mpg in the city, 50 mpg on the highway and 52 mpg combined thanks to improved aerodynamics and a lighter lithium-ion battery pack.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The split rear glass and vertical taillights are other hallmarks of Prius design that can be traced back to that second generation model.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The details are a bit extreme, which causes many onlookers to recoil, but the broad strokes, silhouettes and themes still fall in line with the previous two generation models.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

And the future of Prius design looks even more extreme. The upcoming Prius Prime plug-in hybrid will evolve the design of the fourth-generation model when it hits the road later this year.

Caption by / Photo by Roadshow
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