June 28, 2004

Toyota Prius GT concept joins Goodwood Festival of Speed

Goodwood, England – A high performance concept version of the Toyota Prius, the Prius GT, was the first hybrid vehicle ever to take part in the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a celebration of motorsports history.

Throughout the weekend, the Toyota Prius GT was used as an official car by the event’s organisers. Another unit was on exhibition at the Toyota Booth, together with the Toyota TF104 F1 car and other Toyota cars participating on the Festival of Speed – the 1993 Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD, winner of that year’s world rally championship, the 1992 Toyota TS010 group C car and the Toyota 2000 GT from the American SCCA championship, prepared by Carroll Shelby.

Toyota Prius GT
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The Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain of the Toyota Prius GT has been specifically tuned to deliver sports car performance. The standard Prius Atkinson-cycle gas engine has been replaced by the 1.5-litre Yaris (Echo) T Sport powerplant which provides better response and results in a power gain of 29%, from 77 DIN hp to 99 DIN hp.

The electrical part of the hybrid system has also been uprated. The High Voltage Power Circuit now develops 550 V, a gain of 50 V compared to the street version. This makes it possible to install a more powerful electric motor, which now develops 82 DIN hp on its own – a power output similar to that of a conventional 1.4-litre gas engine.

To cope with the extra power, the battery has been upgraded to develop 34 kW or 46 DIN hp (a gain of 9 kW / 12 DIN hp) and the generator’s maximum speed has been boosted from 10,000 rpm to 12,000 rpm. Furthermore, the state-of-charge control has been tuned to provide more rapid race-car response rather than to maximise outright range.

The 1.5-litre engine, in conjunction with the electric motor (which can be compared to an electric supercharger), now returns 145 DIN hp, a figure that beats every other 1.5-litre diesel or petrol unit currently on the market. In addition, specific power comes close to 100 DIN hp per litre.

To match the increased power output, the whole suspension system – shock absorbers, springs and stabiliser bars – has been uprated to provide sharper handling and improved grip. In addition, the hybrid battery has been positioned over the rear axle to provide better weight distribution.

The addition of a front spoiler and side skirts generates extra downforce and provide a more aggressive look.
More power and less weight result in significant performance improvements, including 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in just 8.7 seconds. When the Prius GT is driven at normal speeds fuel economy and emissions are virtually unchanged, says the company.

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