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Our spy photographers have again managed to capture the 2016 Toyota Prius, and this time they’ve snagged a few shots of the interior of the fourth-generation hybrid as well!

Admittedly, not much can actually be seen as a canvas tarp obscures much of the dashboard, but there are still things we can garner from this. First off, while much of the control layout appears to have been retained, the interior looks to be more conventional than before, with a more upright centre console and a more horizontal transmission tunnel.

Secondly, there appears to be a lot of parts sharing going on, particularly with newer models. The touchscreen infotainment system interface, capacitive touch switchgear and knobs look identical to that on the new 2016 Tacoma, and similar to those in the new Hilux and Fortuner – although the latter two swap the volume and tuning knobs with touch buttons. It’s possible that Toyota is beginning to incorporate all its infotainment systems into a single family, much like Volkswagen.

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Other interesting new items include the much more premium-looking climate control switchgear – including a set of neat toggles to control temperature, fan speed and direction – as well as a new full-colour digital central instrument cluster (as seen on the rest of the Prius family) that looks a world away from the green-backlit LCD screens of old.

Also new is the steering wheel with a U-shaped lower spoke, finished in gloss white trim. That finish used on quite a lot of surfaces elsewhere in the interior – the largest being across the entire central tunnel, including inside the cupholders. We hope it’ll only be offered an option, as we’re not sure how well it’ll hold up to day-to-day usage.

Elsewhere, the still heavily-camouflaged exterior still leaves much to the imagination, though we can see a novel triple-layer front end with the headlights on top, a slim upper grille in the middle and a larger lower air intake at the bottom; this should give the new car the aggression and visual drama that’s been lacking from its predecessors.

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Moving on to the side of the car, the aerodynamic Kamm back profile has been retained, but it looks longer and lower than before. At the rear, there look to be slim LED tail lights that appear to reach all the way to the bottom of the car.

The next-generation Toyota Prius will be the first car built on the modular Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) and will be available in both regular and plug-in versions as before. It will make use of smaller, yet more energy-dense motors and batteries, as well as a more efficient internal-combustion engine for improved fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.