Toyota Prius: The ultimate in endurance racer efficiency? | Low-Buck-Tech

Guest
By Guest Writer
Oct 4, 2022 | Toyota, prius, 24 Hours of Lemons, Low-Buck Tech | Posted in News and Notes | From the Nov. 2022 issue | Never miss an article

Photograph Courtesy 24 Hours of Lemons

Toyota Prius hate in the enthusiast world is nothing new. Left lane hogging, environmental smugness and driver obliviousness have become comment section Prius clichés, and more than one coal roller has showed a confused Prius pilot who’s really boss by demonstrating the features of their (poorly tuned) diesel. 

In Lemons, it turns out there’s Prius hate, too, but for a different …

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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/4/22 9:55 a.m.

I second the use of screaming chickens on cars other than Trans Ams.

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/4/22 11:58 a.m.

Not too shabby!

The old "to win on the track you have to be on the track".

Or something like that.

David Elfering
David Elfering GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/4/22 1:24 p.m.

I'm more surprised to find out 17x9 wheels fit the little beast. 

David Elfering
David Elfering GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/4/22 1:24 p.m.

I'm more surprised to find out 17x9 wheels fit the little beast. 

David Elfering
David Elfering GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/4/22 1:24 p.m.

I'm more surprised to find out 17x9 wheels fit the little beast. 

David Elfering
David Elfering GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/4/22 1:24 p.m.

I'm more surprised to find out 17x9 wheels fit the little beast. 

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
10/4/22 2:07 p.m.

I'm more surprised to find out 17x9 wheels fit the little beast.

 

Russian Warship, Go Berkeley Yourself
Russian Warship, Go Berkeley Yourself PowerDork
10/4/22 2:27 p.m.
hunter47 said:

I'm more surprised to find out 17x9 wheels fit the little beast.

 

 

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/4/22 3:01 p.m.

Good efficiency, ergonomics, visibility, ingress/egress....they probably made up 15 minutes each day on saved fuel and driver swaps.  Those big ass truck mirrors probably help with situational awareness.  Solid strategy.

I don't know anything about Priuses.  Are there any ways to upgrade the hybrid system to be more sporting?  Increased regen so you don't lay into the brakes as hard?  I guess it would require a battery pack that would charge and dump faster.   For racing, it would be great if you could harvest more of your braking and use the electric motor just to pull you through the apex and track-out.

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/4/22 3:11 p.m.
Russian Warship, Go Berkeley Yourself said:
hunter47 said:

I'm more surprised to find out 17x9 wheels fit the little beast.

 

 

 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/4/22 3:19 p.m.

IDK about you guys, but what really got me was to find out 17x9 wheels fit the little beast.

buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
10/4/22 3:31 p.m.

Years ago I raced against a 2nd gen Prius at CMP. It was on the original 300,000 mile battery.  He'd get one flying lap and then like 3 laps of recharge. Kinda weird to have this thing fly past me, then I'd put busses on him the following lap.

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
10/4/22 3:59 p.m.

I mean, the things generally do better under heavy use. Keep oil in the engine and keep it cool and find any possible weight savings... I don't see why it couldn't be a serious contender. 
 

Also I'm just a big fan of the audacity. 

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
10/4/22 6:15 p.m.
Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/5/22 12:57 p.m.

I'll admit that I probably spent way too much time driving the Prius in Forza Motorsport 3. Did driving the Nürurgring take up a good chunk of my afternoon? Yes. Was it worth it? Also yes.

te72
te72 HalfDork
10/15/22 2:39 p.m.

I genuinely want to autocross a TNGA Prius. On the stock tires they put out similar grip levels as our Mk4 Supra did.

 

Granted tire technology has made leaps and bounds since the early 90's, but still... that was a top shelf sports car in its day, and a new Prius generates over 0.9g in steady state turning, that's bonkers.

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