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Toyota Prius gets a bold, new look and a little 1950s charm (pictures)

Toyota unveiled its 2016 Prius at a special event in Las Vegas, showing a drastically restyled car that injects new life into the venerable hybrid.

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Wayne Cunningham

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LAS VEGAS -- During CTIA's Super Mobility Week here, Toyota promised a look at the new generation of its Prius hybrid model.

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The car was introduced by lifting it up on cables, then lowering it on to the stage -- a spectacle befitting the Las Vegas venue.

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The Prius is a very important car for Toyota -- it's become the best-selling hybrid and the overall best-selling car in California.

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Toyota went for a lower, curved front end on the Prius, and dramatically styled headlight casings.

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The Prius retains the basic shape of the previous generation, yet ups the styling considerably.

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The new Prius measures 0.8 inch lower than its predecessor, but is also 2.1 inches longer.

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The 2016 Prius is built on a new global platform from Toyota, which will be the basis for many small to mid-size cars.

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Toyota claims an improved suspension with the new model, for better handling.

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Although Toyota would not release full specifications at this event, it noted that it expects the new Prius to get 10 percent better fuel economy than its predecessor, putting it at around 55 mpg.

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The blue tint to the badge is shared by all Toyota hybrids.

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The side graphic and thin A pillar dip down to meet the front of the car, de-emphasizing hood height.

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Toyota blacks out the rear pillar, achieving a floating roof effect.

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This car is certainly pre-production, so these wheels may not be offered.

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This dashboard focuses strongly on the center displays.

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The instrument cluster displays look much better than those in the previous model.

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Toyota notes that the Prius will come with LED headlights as standard.

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The car holds five passengers, and has cargo room under a liftback.

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Rear cargo access looks very easy.

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These rear fenders, with their high taillights, look like 1950s fins.

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Toyota's marketing slogan for the Prius is Beyond Possible, rather than im- or un-.

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