Toyota officials at this month's Automotive World talked to Autonews where they learned that the company has developed the next Prius hybrid to be on the forefront of design, technology and manufacturing.

Toyota's compact model will debut a smaller and lighter, yet more powerful and efficient electric motor.

"When we look at the next-generation Prius next-generation Prius, we will have a new type of hybrid system. We will make it even smaller, lighter and less expensive. That will strengthen its commercial attractiveness," said Soichiro Okudaira, chief of Toyota’s r&d division.

"We aim to use lithium ion for Prius, but we are not sure yet," Hideki Iba, general manager for Toyota's battery research division told Autonews. "Or we could differentiate within the Prius lineup between ones that use lithium ion battery and other ones that use nickel-metal hydride batteries."

The hybrid model will ride on the new Toyota New Global Architecture (TGNA). This platform will have a lower center of gravity and stronger structure, with Toyota promising improved handling dynamics as well.