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At last year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, Toyota displayed a lightly modified version of the Prius Hybrid to inaugurate its new line of accessories under the PLUS moniker.
Now it’s time for the Japanese automaker to release the production version of its modestly sported up Prius with the commercial launch of the PLUS Performance Package that will be available for order in July in limited numbers.
The package features styling and performance upgrades, and is optionally available on all Prius models with pricing set at $3,699 for the Prius Two, Three, and Four trim levels and $2,999 for the Prius Five.
Customers can choose from four exterior colors -Blizzard Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, Black and Winter Gray Metallic. On the outside, the Prius PLUS is dressed in a seven-piece ground effects kit that includes front and rear bumper spoilers, side skirts and a rear diffuser.
The hybrid model also gains 17-inch alloy wheels in a five-spoke design wrapped in low-profile 215/45R17 tires with a custom offset, which Toyota says increases the track width while “maintaining Prius’ low rolling resistance”.
Underneath the sheetmetal, the PLUS package adds a sports-tuned suspension with lowering springs (1.1 inches in the front and 1.3 inches in the rear) and a new rear sway bar constructed of high carbon spring steel.
Custom badging inside and out along with bespoke carpet floor mats round off the package.
Prius isn't the first name in performance, or even the 51st, but apparently there's some demand for a factory performance package for the mass-market hybrid, as Toyota has just released its PLUS Performance Package for the car.
Used as a clothes horse for the new PLUS hybrid performance line from Toyota's in-house performance division, Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the Prius PLUS package will be available in limited quantities. So what makes the PLUS package sporty?
A set of "track-tuned" lowering springs drop the car 1.1 inches up front and 1.3 inches at the rear, and a new rear swaybar is fitted. Toyota says turn-in is improved, as are steering response and cornering ability.
A seven-piece aero body kit makes the car look lower, including front and rear bumpers, side skirts, spoilers, and a diffuser. Best of all for hybrid performance fans, the kit actually reduces drag rather than increasing it. Next, Toyota adds low-offset "race-inspired" 17-inch alloy wheels, though we have no idea what that means aside from the fact that they're lighter than the usual wheels. "Low-profile" 215/45 tires wrap the wheels.
Four exterior colors are available, including Blizzard Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, black, and Winter Gray Metallic. Inside, PLUS-logo carpet floor mats finish the TRD treatment. The package adds $3,699 to the price of the Prius Two, Three and Four, and $2,999 to the Prius Five. Order books open in July.
So does this Prius sound sporty enough to tempt you to the green side, or is it still too much hybrid, not enough high-speed?
looks good so far i just wish Toyota did some more work in the prius plus interior, it's not what i expect from a performance model. If they improved the interior with things such as suede (on seats & arm rests), sportier steering wheel, special gauge bezel, etc... then it could make the prius plus that much more cooler to have.
just my 0.02