Toyota close to unveiling 4th-generation Prius hybrid

YORK TOWNSHIP, MI (AP) – The timing isn’t perfect, but Toyota is getting close to rolling out the next generation of its Prius gas-electric hybrid car.

Low gas prices have depressed sales of hybrids. The U.S. government expects gasoline to average $2.44 a gallon this year, compared with $3.36 in 2014.

North American CEO Jim Lentz says the new Prius is better looking than the old one. It also has a lower center of gravity for improved handling.

Lentz wouldn’t say exactly when the fourth-generation car will debut. The Prius was last revamped six years ago in 2009.

He also said the new car will get better gas mileage but that reports of a 15 percent increase were probably too high. The Prius now gets an estimated 50 mpg in combined city and highway driving.

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