Toyota Prius

Short-term pain for longer-term gain? That may be the prognosis for the next-generation Toyota Prius, the world's best-selling hybrid. But, hey, the new version might get holiday season debut, now.

Toyota is upgrading some of its most popular models and trying to cut long-term costs with components that can be used on multiple models on the new Toyota New Global Architecture platform, Automotive News says. That means more parts that can be used for the Camry, Avalon (not big stretch, since the Avalon is basically a rich man's Camry) and Corolla in addition to the Prius. The downside, of course, is that this takes a bit more engineering and certainly more time. In the case of the Prius, that means pushing back the start of production from next summer to December 2015. But Automotive News also says the Prius may have an all-wheel-drive option. Happy Holidays.

The report is in update from Automotive News Europe, which cited folks familiar with the process who were not identified and said late last month that the production of the fourth-gen Prius would be pushed back by about six months as engineers continue to tweak the hybrid powertrain for maximum efficiency. The goal is around a 10 percent improvement in fuel-efficiency thanks to an upgraded powertrain and lower vehicle weight. Toyota spokeswoman Amanda Rice told AutoblogGreen in an email that the company doesn't comment on future products, so we'll just have to keep an eye out.