WITH a little help from a V8 engine, Toyota’s hybrid Prius is going racing.
Built in cooperation with APR Racing to compete in Japan’s Super GT series, the bad-ass Prius will make its race debut at the season opener on April 9 and 10 at Okayama International Circuit, taking on a field of mainly European brands.
In the new GT300 specification fourth-generation Toyota Prius, the company has linked witgh APR Racing to stuff a mid-mounted 3.4-liter V8 race engine to turn the Prius from mild to wild.
Toyota contributed an improved Hybrid Synergy Drive system, relocated to the passenger footwell for better weight distribution.
The aerodynamic package was designed according to Super GT regulations and was built using computational fluid dynamics technology.
Two Prius models will make their appearance in the 2016 Super GT season, with the first one piloted by Hiroaki Nagai and Kota Sasaki, and the second one by Koki Saga and Yuichi Nakayama.
“The hybrid system reached a certain maturity with the previous model, and now we have the new model, which has become the strongest machine APR have ever had. We won twice last year, so our goal this year is to win three times and get the championship,” Saga says.
This new GT300 joins other race-spec Toyota hybrid vehicles, including the TS030 Hybrid endurance racer, the GT300 specification Prius unveiled in 2012 and the TS040 Hybrid that launched in 2014.
Images: Toyota; Video: ARC