SODEGAURA, Japan — Here's an impressive fact about the newly redesigned Toyota Prius.
Its windshield, angled at an air-splitting 21 degrees from the hood, is the most raked in the Toyota's corporate lineup, beating the Lexus LC sports coupe and even matching Lexus LFA supercar.
"This is about the same angle as a Lamborghini," says body design engineer Shuhei Niwata.
Few people would probably mistake the redesigned fifth-generation Toyota hybrid for a 5.2-liter, V10 Huracan. But no one denies that the latest Prius cuts a sporty, nay sexy, silhouette.
The plug-in hybrid version, the Prius Prime, even packs punchy performance chops. It boasts a 0-60 mph sprint of 6.6 seconds, with total system output topping 200 hp. In a Prius.
But could the redesigned Prius arriving in lots this year be sporty and sexy enough to warrant a special GR-branded performance version, under Toyota Motor Corp.'s Gazoo Racing tuning line?
Prius Chief Engineer Yasushi Ueda certainly thinks so.
"Personally speaking, I would like to do it," Ueda said during a recent test drive of the plug-in Prius at — drumroll, please — a winding racetrack outside Tokyo. "But first we have to listen to customer voices and think of what kind of concept we would be able to deliver in a GR version."
The 2023 Prius Prime puts a premium on power like none of its Prius brethren. Total system output jumps by 100 hp to 220 hp, or 164 kilowatts, over the previous-generation plug-in.
The power comes from teaming its 120-kilowatt front-axle electric motor and lithium ion battery of around 13-kilowatt hours with an upgraded 2.0-liter gasoline engine.
That setup compares with the 144 kilowatts generated by the updated standard front-wheel-drive hybrid, which mates the same engine to a 0.91-kilowatt hour battery and 83-kilowatt motor.