There may be a high-performance Prius on the way.
The evidence, we admit, is thin. But this comes from a division of Toyota that likes to play around with hints and teasers. And it’s almost Memorial Day weekend, so we’re all feeling a little finicky. You can grant us a funny one.
The clue comes from Toyota Gazoo Racing – both an actual racing division and a shop that builds high-performance cars like the GR86 And GR Supra.
Gazoo Racing Frolics online when they’re up to something
GR has a habit of acting mischievous when he has something funny up his sleeve. In 2021, they started slipping tiny hints of an aggressively styled hot hatch into ads for other Toyota cars. For months, the mystery car appeared in the shadows or in the distance in commercials for the conventional Corolla hatchback.
At the time when the GR Corolla appeared for sale, the world was ready for the small 300 horsepower limited run hot hatch.
They start again
This process can start again. Gazoo Racing is preparing to take part in the mythical 24 Hours of Leman endurance race in a few weeks. They launched a website highlighting the drivers and the prototype cars they will drive there.
Below, an unexplained photo. It shows a garage door opening on a car with a Gazoo Racing license plate. The frame of the license plate indicates that this is not a racing car. It is a GR version of a production car.
The low mounted quad lights do not match any existing Toyota product. But the shape of the lower air dam and the location of the tow hook covers above it do. And it’s weird.
It seems to match the dimensions of the new 2023 Toyota Prius.
If we are crazy, so are the others
We are not the only ones to notice this.
Motor1 says: “Call us crazy, but it could be a 2023 Prius disguised as a race car.”
CarScoops comes to the same conclusion, saying: “The upper part of the bumper makes us think it could be a beefed up version of the Toyota Prius.”
CarBuzz says so. AutoSpies came to the same conclusion. Gradually, the automotive press rallies around the idea that a high-performance Prius is on the way.
No one would buy the idea if we were talking about the latest Prius.
The 2023 Prius is actually quite fast
But the 2023 Prius is a very different car from all previous Prius models. Our Colin Ryan, one of the first to drive it, said: “The notoriously nonchalant Prius is now faster than perhaps most cars in its size/price range.
Our Mike Danger, veteran Prius owner, I spent time behind the wheel and actually yelled, “Wheeee!”
In base form, the Prius now boasts 194 horsepower and an aggressive wedge shape that might not look ridiculous in GR form.
And we are expecting new GR projects this year. Former Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda – a highly respected semi-professional racing driver as well as a business executive – recently left company management to focus on passion projects at GR. This is exactly the kind of fantasy he would approve of.
We’ll have to wait more than the lowest four inches of the front bumper to be sure. But, if Gazoo’s story is any guide, this is just the first in a series of dashing teasers before we know for sure.