I know what you’re thinking-did he just put the words ‘performance’ and ‘Prius’ in the same headline? When The Garage reviewed the latest generation Prius, we concluded the car succeeds at its mission-offering superlative fuel economy in a practical, comfortable package. But certainly nothing to do with performance. Well, Toyota is having a go at changing that perception. Developed by TRD (Toyota Racing Development), the PLUS Performance Package will be available in limited quantities for those looking to spice up their Prius.
So, what performance has been added here? Well, you do not get more power-the drivetrain has been left completely alone. The goal here was not to detract fuel economy. What you do get is slightly more aggressive styling in the form of a seven-piece ground effects kit, which includes front and rear bumper spoilers, side skirts and a rear diffuser, which all combine to lower aerodynamic drag. New 17″ forged alloys wearing fatter rubber (but still low-rolling resistant) are included. The Prius PLUS has also been lowered 1.1″ in the front, and 1.3″ in the rear. The addition of a rear sway bar round out the performance mods, which should go a long way in making the Prius more fun to drive. Apart from different floor mats, the interior has been left untouched.
Orders for the Prius PLUS Performance Package can be made this July. The package is available on Prius II, III, and IV models for $3,699USD, and $2,999 on the Prius V (which already come equipped with 17″ alloys). While I don’t see the car making any converts, I see no harm in letting the guys at TRD add some fun to the Prius. As Toyota continues to ponder on how to grow the Prius, there is no doubt the management will be keen to see if the car-buying public is willing to spend more money on an aggressive-looking, sharper handling Prius. Stay tuned.