Toyota Honours 100 Years of Le Mans with Prius GR Edition
A Gazoo Racing-enhanced Toyota Prius may seem like something other than a thrilling idea. Before you dismiss the idea as just a marketing stunt, it's worth noting that BMW M and Mercedes-AMG also have their own hybrid vehicles, the XM and GT 4-door. Therefore, a Prius with the GR designation isn't the most outlandish thing we've ever encountered.
You are looking at the first-ever Toyota Prius 24h Le Mans Centennial GR Edition, which pays tribute to the famous Le Mans race and France's Automobile Club de l'Ouest.
In its regular stance, the Prius isn't that appealing to the eyes, but that's not entirely the case with the GR Edition. If you look past its complicated name, you get a model kitted with bits and pieces that give it a more upmarket racing stance.
Inspired by TGR's WEC-competing GR010 Hybrid, it's equipped with exclusive performance aerodynamic parts such as side skirts, canards, a large rear wing and a rear diffuser. It features a lightweight carbon fibre hood while it packs a wide-track suspension and 18" aerodynamic wheels.
The team has added multi-beam headlights for improved visibility when driving at night.
Toyota doesn't mention any mechanical upgrades, but in its regular setup, the Prius is available with two powertrain options; 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre engines.
For reference, the Gazoo Racing division has honed the hybrid systems at Le Mans and in other WEC races since 2012, garnering skills that have eventually trickled down to its production cars.
In case you may be curious about the Prius posing next to the Mazda MX-30 R-EV with a rotary engine in the pictures. They are both part of a tribute to Japanese racing legends at Le Mans.
Mazda made history as the first Japanese brand to conquer Le Mans in 1991 with the 787B with Johnny Herbert at the helm, and Toyota dominated the race for five years in a row from 2018-2022. Toyota says it aims to emerge victorious in the 2023 season.
The regular Prius is still a hybrid icon as the model that ignited the global movement towards hybrid cars. Now in its fifth generation, it boasts a sleek new look, powerful performance and the same fantastic fuel economy. It remains to be seen if the Toyota Gazoo Racing division will give the Prius a full-fat GR treatment in the coming years, but we don't see why they wouldn't.