Yes, today is Earth Day, a day for Prius drivers everywhere to be extra smug about being "open-minded" or "forward thinking." But while they may think gas-electric power is some ultra-modern technology, they're wrong. Next time someone wipes their green Prius ego in your face, just tell them about this little car. It's a hybrid Toyota from 1977, based on the Sports 800. But this wasn't just ahead of it's time, it was actually cool, too.
The gasoline engine wasn't your typical internal-combustion mill, but rather a jet-tastic gas-turbine engine. That spinning turbine would wind up an electric generator, which would charge up the batteries. The juice stored in the batteries would be used by electric motors that sent power to the wheels. So this setup is actually more like the proposed system of the Chevy Volt, rather than a modern Toyota hybrid.
[via Japanese Nostalgic Car, Image Credit: Toyota]