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.
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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.