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If you’ve ever been caught distracted on the street with a Prius creeping up behind you, you know how silent they can be. Not even the spaceship-like sounds emitted from their external speaker system can match a conventional ICE’s low rumble.

Petrolheads relegated to the realities of daily-driver hybrid life may be all too familiar with the sound of the low-power engine whirring into life, as it supplements battery charge or adds a bit of dino-juice boost. Well, this video kind of shows the same process, but instead of a 1.8-liter Atkinson cycle inline-four, there is a 3.4-liter V8 detuned (yes, detuned) to 300 hp.

The video, from 2013, shows a Super GT GT300-spec Prius GT exiting the pit lane at the Sportsland Sugo track in Japan. Recently rediscovered and posted to Reddit, the clip gained traction as it highlighted the borderline hilarious, borderline brutal transition of the Prius GT from near-silent full-electric mode to the raucous full-bore V8.

Read: This Honda Civic/CR-X del Sol Boasts Some Dubious Modifications

The Prius GT itself is an interesting affair. It allegedly shared hybrid components with the road-going Prius, Aqua (Prius C), and Camry. But the mid-mounted engine was “borrowed” from Toyota’s fleet of Lexus SC GT500 cars. It was the same motor that was featured in the Formula Nippon (Super Formula) Championship, and most notably, the Toyota TS030 Hybrid LMP1 and the LMP1 Lola B10/60.

The mid-engine Prius GT was retired at the end of the 2018 season, thanks to a regulation change mandating racing cars must share the same engine position as their road-going counterparts. A front-engined Prius GT hybrid still contests the Super GT championship, with the same engine and, presumably, the same crazy switchover. It serves to show that even the most mundane of road-going applications can be mental enough given the right environment. Now excuse us as we search for used V8s and a few borrowed Super GT schematics.

 


Volkswagen has announced that not only will the ID.3 and ID.4 get over-the-air updates, but, starting in summer 2021, they’ll get one every three months.

“This will ensure that all delivered ID. models will be kept at the same software level as new cars throughout their entire life cycle,” said Thomas Ulbrich, the VW brand’s head of technical development. “Over-the-Air updates will also be the new normal in cars in the future.”

The OTA updates will be handles by ID.Digital, a newly established software team put together for this purpose. The development of the MEB platform and, more specifically, the ID.3 was mired in software issues initially. The brand sought to remedy that by moving much of its software development in-house as it could.

Read Also: Audi Boss Takes Charge Of VW Group Software Unit, Appoints Former BMW Exec As Software CEO

Early reviews of the ID.4, though, have complained that despite the crossover’s competence, its infotainment system is almost a deal breaker. Slow and unresponsive, Doug DeMuro complained that it was more akin to an infotainment system from 2007 than something you’d expect in a brand new electric vehicle.

Volkswagen now says that with these over-the-air updates it will be able to quickly improve ID models’ software and customer’s interaction with the car.

Indeed, cars produced as of last week are already getting ID.Software 2.1 as standard. Owners in Europe are now able to update their ID.3s and ID.4s, too. “The introduction of Over-the-Air updates is the next important step in our transformation into a tech company and in the development of new business models,” said Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of the Volkswagen brand.

Williams has unveiled the FW43B, their challenger for the 2021 Formula 1 season, and along with the technical changes comes an all-new blue, white, and yellow color scheme.

The original plan for the FW43B’s launch was to use an augmented reality (AR) app instead of a more traditional unveiling. The app could be downloaded on your device, then when the car was unveiled, you would be able to see it from all angles.

Watch: The Full Trailer For Netflix’s Drive To Survive F1 Docuseries Has Landed

Where the trouble came about, however, was when people discovered the car hidden in the app’s code and extracted the model to view it ahead of the launch. Williams got word of this, and decided to scrap the AR launch altogether and remove the app from both the Apple App Store and the Android Google Play store.

Williams driver George Russell voiced his disappointment on Twitter: “Massive shame. I’ve seen the app and it was going to be an awesome experience for you guys. Whoever did this, seriously not cool.” However, we did still get a chance to see how the app would have worked, as Russell posted a video of him using it on another account.

You may not have been able to experience the @WilliamsRacing app but @GeorgeRussell63 didn't want you to miss out! 💙 #GR63 pic.twitter.com/AaWXGkZwzO

— GR63 (@OfficialGR63) March 5, 2021

The FW43B is supposed to usher in a new era for the British team, as it’s their first full season since their 1977 inception to not be under the ownership of founder Sir Frank Williams following its acquisition by US-based investment company Dorilton Capital. The car’s technical changes are relatively minimal, as the real overhaul comes with next year’s sporting regulation changes.

Read More: Formula 1 Teams Show Support For New Sprint Race Format For Saturdays

Newly appointed Williams Racing CEO, Jost Capito, said: “Williams Racing is a sporting icon, and a team that has forged a reputation of success through sheer determination and grit intertwined with innovation, passionate and skillful race-craft and an absolute desire to win. Highs and lows are typical in any long-established sporting brand’s journey and historic success can be a strong motivator, but it cannot be relied upon to define future success in the modern era of Formula One.

“Therefore, we have created a fresh new livery for the 2021 car; one that acknowledges our incredible past and retains the spirit, drive and motivation that remains at the core of Williams’ DNA yet looks to the future and signposts our long-term ambition to return to the front of the grid. Whilst we are just starting out on this journey and there is still a lot of work to do, we are happy to see momentum in the right direction and look forward to continuing that progress on track this season.”

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