While en route to Motor Trend's El Segundo offices, a staffer at our sister publication snapped this mysterious test mule not far from Toyota's North American headquarters. The prototype's unmistakable shape screams Toyota Prius, and there's a good chance this is the next-gen model in disguise.
Rumor has it that the next-gen Toyota Prius is due in 2015, and will feature a new Hybrid Synergy Drive system as well as a different design. This prototype looks a lot like the current-generation Toyota Prius, which was introduced for the 2010 model year and refreshed for 2012. Still, it could be a mule for the new hybrid drivetrain wearing the current model's sheetmetal. A square-shaped patch can be seen covering the spot where the charging port would normally appear on a Prius plug-in, but otherwise the heavy camouflage obscures any truly revealing details.
This test mule could also be an early prototype for Toyota's upcoming hydrogen fuel cell sedan, which CEO Jim Lentz promised last year will arrive by 2015.
Source: Motor Trend