No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This spaceship-looking race car really is a Toyota Prius.
The Prius has actually been racing in the Japanese GT300 series since 2012 with some success. An all-new road car was launched in 2015 so a new race car was needed for the 2016 season.
Class rules stipulate that various elements of the bodywork need to remain as on the road car, notably the front and rear lights and the silhouette above the window line. But the proportions have been drastically, cartoonishly reshaped and the car features some of the wildest aero you’ll this side of F1.
The race car remains a hybrid, using an electric motor derived from that in the road car, connected to a front-mounted, naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6 engine (the previous car used a mid-mounted 1.8). Power goes to the rear wheels.
Toyota will release more details on the APR Racing-developed Prius GT300 in due course. The class also includes the likes of the Subaru BRZ and Honda CR-Z, as well as GT3-spec machinery.
The 2016 GT300 championship – part of the Super GT series – gets underway at Okayama on April 9.
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By Only Motors