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The Toyota Prius GT300 race car debuted at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon, looking ready to compete in the 2012 Super GT season. But things didn’t go as planned when the team took to testing its race car out at Okayama Circuit prior to the season opener.
We’re sure all the Toyota haters out there would find this the perfect time to make fun of the Prius for catching fire, but let’s keep in mind this is a complete race car and can hardly compare to what we see on the streets. So don’t expect any Chevrolet Volt comparisons from us, especially since it’s already been revealed that the cause of the fire was from a faulty fuel line rather than any issues in the vehicle’s hybrid system.
Thankfully it appears that much of the damage is cosmetic and the driver was unharmed when leaked fuel caught onto the exhaust, igniting the fire. The team is confident that they’ll have their Prius race car ready to roll at the season opener in Okayama.
Watch the video of the Toyota Prius GT300 race car on fire after the break.
[Source: Hanzo Autobuzz]
Racing a Prius might sound like the start of a joke, until you see this. Unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan, this Toyota Prius is fully prepped and sporting its race livery. Significantly wider and lower than a factor model, this Prius is designed to compete in Japan’s Super GT racing series starting this year.
Regulations in the series are loose, so there’s little left of the original Prius here, although the original’s sleek aerodynamic shape is still obvious. Also of note is that the car appears to retain a hybrid drivetrain with the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive logo on the back. Another hint is the massive sponsorship by Panasonic, which supplies the batteries for the road car.
Exactly how this hybrid racer will do remains to be seen and we’ll have to wait for the first round of the Super GT series in March to find out.
GALLERY: Toyota Prius Race Car
See AutoGuide’s complete Tokyo Auto Salon Coverage Here
Subaru‘s BRZ GT300 race car is looking fabulous on the track, but we couldn’t help but wonder where Toyota‘s GT 86 race car was at the Tokyo Motor Show. Apparently nowhere, maybe not even on the minds of Toyota engineers responsible for their GT300 race car.
Rather than usher in a new era of racing with their GT 86 sports coupe, Toyota has decided to go a different route, with their Prius hybrid. Yes, you read that right, Toyota is opting to market their Prius in the Super GT racing series rather than their new GT 86, and we have to admit it’s a pretty interesting choice.
We’re more interested to see what powerplant and drivetrain will end up underneath the hood in order to compete with the other 300-hp vehicles in the GT300 class.
The rendering comes courtesy of Auto Sport Magazine and appears to be what Toyota is preparing for the 2012 Super GT season. Also according to the publication, Team APR will be responsible for building the Prius race car, the same team that entered a pair of Corolla Axio GT race cars this year.
[Source: Jon Sibal]