Ahead of the 100th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend, Toyota has unveiled a very sporty version of its latest Prius. Officially known as the Prius 24h Le Mans Centennial GR Edition, the model pays tribute to the historic endurance race and its role in the Japanese carmaker’s development of racing hybrid technology since 2012.
Toyota has secured five consecutive Le Mans wins since 2018 and is currently the defending champion, with the GR010 Hybrid competing this year to hopefully extend the streak with a sixth straight victory.
That hybrid race car is the inspiration for the GR-modified Prius you see here, which features several motorsport-inspired parts. These include a carbon-fibre bonnet and an aerodynamic package consisting of new side skirts, front canards, a large rear wing and a prominent rear diffuser.
Compared to a standard Prius, the GR Edition comes with extended wheel arches to accommodate the wider track resulting from new suspension hardware paired with 235/50 profile Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres and black 18-inch wheels.
Toyota also swapped out the front bumper for one with a wide, rectangular grille as well as a lip spoiler and square clusters of LED headlamps, the last of which is reminiscent of the headlamps on its GR010 Hybrid. No mention was made if the hybrid powertrain has been altered for more performance.
If you’re wondering why the GR Edition is parked next to the a Mazda MX-30 R-EV, it’s because both companies, together with the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) are holding an exhibition at the Manufacturers’ Village of Le Mans.
In 1991, ‘Japan. Endless Discovery’ was a JNTO initiative that was carried out in the year Mazda fielded the legendary 787B that won Le Mans, becoming the only Japanese carmaker to do so at the time. Today, Toyota is the only Japanese car brand to compete in the endurance race, so the exhibition pays homage to this legacy and serves as a platform to showcase the goal of a carbon-neutral society.
* This article was originally published here
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