TOKYO -- The Toyota brand's global design chief says the fourth-generation Prius needs a massive restyling.
"It has to be a revolution this time around," Simon Humphries told Automotive News at the Tokyo Motor Show.
"The last redesign was evolutionary, and when stylists try two evolutionary designs in a row, he said, "things go wrong. That's kind of like an unwritten rule."
The Prius, with its aerodynamic triangular silhouette, is one of the most distinct designs on the road. But detractors criticize the hybrid for lacking sex appeal with quirky, rather than inspirational, looks.
Toyota is mum on details. But a redesign is expected in early 2015.
The design quandary is how to make the Prius stand out in an increasingly crowded segment of gasoline-electric vehicles -- including more hybrids from Toyota itself.
"The biggest challenge is that quite simply, when Prius was first initiated, there was only Prius as a hybrid. That was enough to be different," Humphries said.
"At the moment, we've got a hybrid in virtually everything. I hope that the next-generation Prius is an emotional hybrid car."