The Only Way To Fix A Prius

A Toyota Prius on Speedhunters. You never thought you’d see the day, right?

It’s not actually a first, in fact, a quick search through the archives and you’ll find we’ve shared stories about Toyota’s little green machine before, but never one like this. As revolutionary as the Prius has been for the development of everyday, affordable EVs, they aren’t without their issues – longevity being the main one, although their mundane design and dull driving experience rank highly on that list too. You see, the batteries have a limited lifespan, and as we’re now finding out, older Prii need costly cell replacements, running into the thousands of pounds/dollars/etc.

2017_sema_priusrt8_speedhunters-1

American Racing Headers have come up with an ingenious solution to overcome the battery issue, and inject some much-needed life into the little Toyota. This is the’ ‘PriuSRT8′, and if the badge itself wasn’t enough of a clue, then the huge drag slicks should give the game away. Long gone is the 1.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid motor, replaced with a devilish 700hp 6.2-litre Dodge Hellcat crate engine, dubbed the ‘Hellcrate’. If that wasn’t enough, American Racing Headers then upgraded the supercharger to a 4.5-litre Whipple unit, along with some of their own custom headers, bringing the total power output to 800whp – yes, that’s wheel horsepower. The powerplant is mated to a six-speed Tremec manual box, sending drive to a Ford nine-inch rear axle via a carbon-fibre propshaft.

In truth, it’s only really the bodyshell that’s Prius now. The chassis underneath is tubular and entirely custom and there’s a full rollcage inside. Personally, I’d have loved for ARH to have kept the cage, slicks and paintwork on the down-low for the ultimate street sleeper. That’s right – it’s road legal too!

A Prius that pulls wheelies and is street legal. Maybe not all Prii are built evil?

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters
jordan@speedhunters.com

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20 comments

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1

There has been a glut of similarly aging Honda Insights who's hybrid batteries have ended their useful life (they are basically 120 beefy rechargeable D cells, not far from what you would stuff in a big Maglite!). The obvious solution here has been swap a K20 or K24 in, then bolt up a turbo once you are bored, LHT even managed to go 4wd with one! These old hybrids are really obsolete cars though with the way tech moves, it's nice to see something interesting done with them ;-)

2

I'm glad to see people start to use Prius as a platform, had such idea since 5-6 years ago! I wish I have the money & skill to put together one of my idea,

3
StealthStar17

I'll be honest: as I read this article, I chuckled and let out an exclamation of "WTF!?
I always love reading about builds like these. They just have this degree of goofiness to them that makes them so memorable.

4

That's a Prius i'd love to own.

5

You could also shove an LMP class V8 into one and race it in GT300

6

Love how they modified the Hood emblem to make it look like a space rocket :D

Author7
Jordan Butters

I… didn't see a space rocket at first.

8

The suggestion of battery longevity problems on a prius is a myth. This guy knows not what he is talking about. Oh, and I don't own a prius or work for Toyota!

9

Yeah, I’m wondering if they have anything to back up their claims about lack of longevity. Consumer Reports shot that one down years ago. We have an older Prius with 200,000+ miles, and it runs like the day we got it. This seems to be right in line with other people we know who have a Prius. They are great cars that seemingly run forever.

Author10
Jordan Butters

Unless Toyota somehow solved the issue that plagues ALL rechargeable battery-based devices ever created, then yes, batteries always have a lifespan that is shorter than your average petrol-based engine. It wouldn't even be as closely linked to mileage as petrol engines which don't deteriorate from simply being sat there (extreme cases aside). Some sources say 8-10 years is the point at which they noticeably deteriorate, other owners claim up to 15% capacity loss over 5 years. Either way, at some point you're going to need to swap the battery out.

11

Looks as though the following two comments blow your argument out of the water! Nothing, of course lasts forever.

Author12
Jordan Butters

Of course personal mileage may vary, and I didn't say that EVERY car will have the same problem.

13

My 13 years old prius recently has reached 180,000 km on it`s ODO still running with his first battery without any notable power or capacity loss. In European cities Prius taxis with 400k+ km are running on their original batteries.

14

3 Prii in family. 2007 had 337,000 miles on it with orig batteries. Totaled in accident. NEVER an issue with it except for front wheel hubs. Own 2010 and 2013 now both with over 150k on odo and again not one issue. My goal is 500k on the 2013 before I retire and stop commuting with it.

Author15
Jordan Butters

And then… V8? :D

16

Speaking of hybrids, wife has an 08 Tahoe hybrid 4x4. Amazing drivetrain developed in partnership with Daimler and BMW I believe. Tows our 4600lb travel trailer on elec motors alone to 15mph. Get a kick pulling into campground on whisper mode, guys like wtf..that thing running?! Downside to drivetrain is the Chevy 6.2 motor..pos needed new lifters and oil pump screen @ 60k miles, before started towing with it. Out of warranty and $5k. Makes it hard to buy American

17

Taken care of already..67 4speed convert GTO. Have to keep some aspect of manhood

18

Taken care of already..67 4speed convert GTO. Have to keep some aspect of manhood

19

Decent effort...still not the most badass Prius on the planet though - that goes to the midship, LMP1 powered Prius racing in Super GT GT300. And that one isn’t a tube chassis, it actually started life as a real Prius!

20
FunctionFirst

#YouHaveGotToBeFuckingShittingMe - for those who were wondering.

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