Toyota to unveil sportier new Prius gas-electric hybrid with US fuel prices lowest since 2004

EnergyAssociated Press

The rollout of Toyota's new Prius comes at an inauspicious time for gas-sipping vehicles.

The Japanese automaker plans to introduce a sleeker version of the car that runs on gas and electricity at a glitzy event Tuesday night in Las Vegas. But gas prices are at their lowest level in more than a decade and are expected to head even lower.

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Spy photos of the 2016 Prius show that it's sportier than the current version. It almost certainly will boast better mileage than the 2015, which gets 50 miles per gallon in combined city-highway driving.

Prius sales fell from their peak of nearly 237,000 in 2012 to just over 207,000 last year. Through August they're down 17 percent.