Toyota’s performance division Gazoo Racing has hinted that it will unveil a Prius-based high-performance model at the centenary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Gazoo said it will showcase a concept “with automotive technology that has been developed through many challenges in participating in motorsport” at the event.
The teaser image posted with the statement indicates that the model is based on the new Toyota Prius as it has a front fascia with the same pattern and the same sensor placement.
It is distinguished from the regular hybrid hatchback by two groups of four LED fog lamps, the addition of candles along each side and a aggressive front splitter.
What’s less clear is whether the powertrain will rely on the Prius Plug-in Hybrid’s 221-hp 2.0-liter gasoline-electric system. If so, it will certainly serve as a statement of intent for Gazoo’s electric future, as its current vehicles all run on clean gasoline.
The concept is likely to serve as an acid test for the production GR Prius, with public opinion determining whether it will continue into production.
New Toyota boss Koji Sato – who previously headed the company’s Lexus and Gazoo divisions – last month hinted to Autocar that more GR-branded sports cars would be available.
Sato said, “The Gazoo brand will be recognized for the future – and maybe we can speed it up.
“Our driver Mwalimu [Akio Toyoda] he was also the president of the company at the same time with the helm of Gazoo in his hand. Now he’s just the president, maybe he has more time to make cars for you.”
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