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New Prius Commercial Is Wonderfully Dramatic

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2016 Toyota Prius commercial

The redesigned 2016 Toyota Prius

The countdown to the US release of the 2016 Toyota Prius is on. To help build excitement, the Japanese automaker has released the first new commercial featuring the all-new fourth-generation hybrid, and it’s a little over-the-top.

Anyone familiar with the third-gen Prius will know that it’s not exactly the most exciting car to drive. But that’s not what compels people to buy it. Instead, drivers are drawn to the Prius’ reliability, high fuel economy ratings, and friendliness to the planet. But with the 2016 Prius, Toyota wants to change that perception and attract a younger crowd concerned with style and performance as well as eco-friendliness.

The Prius’ design has been completely overhauled, and is much sportier than ever before. Toyota wants to market the crap out of that, and the result is this new commercial:

Compare: Learn more about the 2015 Toyota Prius

An attractive man approaches the Prius, caressing its hood gently as he walks by. He slides behind the wheel and revs the engine. As he takes off, you can hear the tires screeching on the pavement, hinting at the Prius’ performance statistics. It can drift; it can speed through water and snow; it can handle off-road driving. And as the commercial ends and a brand new plant shoots out from the ground where the Prius’ tires have touched, you’re reminded that it’s also eco-friendly.

Of course, the Prius is anything but a performance vehicle. The new iteration comes with increased efficiency and new styling, and does have a new 1.8-liter engine that produces 97 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque, plus an electric motor that adds 71 horsepower and 120 lb-ft of torque. While those figures are definitely not performance-car-worthy, they are still fairly decent. But whether or not the 2016 Prius will live up to its new reputation remains to be seen.

A Legend: Check out the Toyota Prius’ rich 15-year history

Catherine Hiles is a native Brit currently based in Dayton, Ohio. Don’t ask how that happened. Cat has written about a variety of subjects, from dog training to fashion, and counts running and cooking among her hobbies.

Cat lives with her husband, Ben; their daughter, Rose; and their collection of animals, including an energetic mutt, an elderly basset hound, and a jerk cat. See more articles by Cat.