The fifth-generation Toyota Prius is an enormous step ahead when it comes to driving pleasure (and visible pleasure) over its forebears. For the reason that nameplate’s launch in 1997, fans have feared what the inexperienced meanies and their compact hybrid gas sippers would imply for the way forward for driving. Fortunately, it appears Toyota has managed to make the Prius so good that it not solely saves gas, nevertheless it’s fairly enjoyable to drive on the identical time. The mad scientists, Paul and Todd of EverydayDriver, benchmarked their lightly-modified Prius towards the recent hatch baseline Mk8 Volkswagen GTI, and located it not wanting for a lot.
The XW60-generation Prius combines a 2-liter inline 4 cylinder with an electrical motor for a complete of 196 horsepower. Whereas that’s not fairly as a lot because the GTI’s 241 horsepower, they weigh virtually precisely the identical at roughly 3200 kilos, and the Prius delivers its energy extra linearly with the electrical motor torque increase. The GTI will run from 0-62 in simply 6.3 seconds, whereas the Prius takes a couple of second longer at 7.2 seconds (however that’s a far cry from the ten.5 seconds the earlier technology Prius wanted).
The GTI in query is a superb benchmark. It’s a largely inventory automobile with a lighter set of wheels and a stickier tire, matching the upgrades affected on the Prius to maintain issues on a good bent. Bolt a wider sticky tire on a lighter wheel to the Prius, and it turns into a bit extra of a canyon carver. It’s a surprisingly good chassis that’s let down by its inventory low-rolling resistance tires.
This little piece of investigative wrenching will get me much more excited for the potential future that features a Prius fettled by Toyota’s in-house Gazoo Racing division. With a greater and decrease suspension, thicker sway bars, higher brakes, barely extra energy, and higher bolstered seats, the Prius could possibly be a correctly good sporty commuter that also returns wonderful gas financial system.
Ten years in the past in case you’d even proposed the concept of a GTI-beater based mostly on the Prius, you’d be laughed out of the room. However immediately, it’s perhaps potential, and that will get me fairly excited. We already know what GR can do to a Toyota, and we all know it’s good.