Last night we got to hear the race version of the upcoming mid-engine ’Vette, the Corvette C8.R, pounding around Sebring in testing. It sounds like any number of flat plane crank V8 race cars, from Ferrari and on. Meanwhile, Toyota went testing in its new Prius race car with its own new V8 that thunders like the Corvettes of old.
This is the new Prius Super GT entry in the lower GT300 class. The whole thing is a surprisingly complicated set of classes and rules for Japan’s major silhouette/touring car series, but what you need to know is that there used to be a Prius race car with a LMP1 V8 mounted behind the driver, but that’s been banned and there’s a new one.
Having your car in GT300 with an engine in a non-stock location was actually outlawed for 2016, but the old mid-engine Prius got grandfathered in, sneaking in before the rules change with literally two days to spare, as DailySportsCar reports.
In any case, the new V8 Prius reportedly gets the 5.4-liter naturally-aspirated V8 that’s in the Lexus RC-F GT3 car, presumably mounted in front of the driver under that short hood somewhere. The front-exit exhaust lines up for that, too.
The team racing this car has been adamant that it’ll stay hybrid, though I don’t know exactly what system it’ll be using. Past Prius GT300 cars used various different systems, some stock, some with super-capacitors.
As it is, it’s funny that the high-tech Prius is the one keeping the old school sound, while the ’Vette goes ultra-modern. I guess one has something to prove.
(Hat tip to Manny!)