A High-Performance Hybrid On The Horizon

THE Toyota Prius has long been synonymous with fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness, but the upcoming generation is poised to break away from the pack. The fifth generation of the Prius has not only impressed with its stylish design but has also raised the bar on performance. This has fuelled rumours and anticipation for a high-performance variant from Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division, potentially branded as Prius GRMN.

Recent reports from Japan have reignited these rumours, suggesting that the Prius GRMN will be a formidable contender in the hybrid arena. It is expected to leverage a more potent version of the 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid setup, delivering an improved response and a more engaging sound. In its stock form, this setup already produces 220hp, so the GRMN variant is anticipated to surpass this mark.

The GRMN badge is associated with the highest level of performance within Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division. Speculations hint that the combined output could even exceed the 302hp of the RAV4 Prime, showcasing the potential for an electrifying driving experience.

To match the increased power, Gazoo Racing engineers are anticipated to fine-tune the suspension setup for sharper handling and integrate a robust braking system. Reinforcing the rigidity of the TNGA platform will also be a priority, accomplished through enhanced welding and the use of advanced adhesives.

Moreover, the inclusion of a simulated manual gearbox technology designed for EVs could enhance the driving experience, providing a more engaging feel and sound to the electrified powertrain in PHEVs.

In terms of design, cues from the wild-looking Toyota GR Prius Concept, showcased at Le Mans, may influence the Prius GRMN’s aesthetics. Although some modifications and adjustments are expected, a sportier front and rear bumper, side skirts, a rear wing, and larger-diameter wheels are likely enhancements.

The exact debut date remains unconfirmed so enthusiasts may have to wait until 2024 for the arrival of this eagerly awaited high-performance production model.