The crazy thing about the all-new Toyota Prius isn’t just that it looks great, but it drives great too. That certainly couldn’t be said of older Prii, which were viciously competent at cutting fuel use but offered a driving experience that was less thrilling than a good nap. But everything looks better in race car form (prove me wrong, kids) and that’s especially true with the Prius 24h Le Mans Centennial GR Edition concept vehicle here to celebrate Japanese excellence at the world’s greatest auto race.
After all, Toyota’s headed back to Le Mans this weekend where it will attempt its sixth consecutive win in the top class—though it hasn’t had much in the way of competition there in the past few years. On the other hand, this year could get a lot more interesting (finally) as some rule changes mean Toyota’s GR10 Hybrid race cars will compete with some extra weight.
Maybe this Prius concept can be its good luck charm. It’s said to pack a full aero package “inspired” by the GR10, a carbon fiber hood, a wide-track suspension and some very choice Le Mans-style racing lights. Toyota says we will also see it on display at the 6 Hours of Fuji endurance race in September (which is finally back after a couple years of COVID-related cancellations.)
No word on whether the Prius 24h Le Mans Centennial GR Edition will see some sort of production version, though I absolutely wish it would, because that would be incredibly badass. Wouldn’t you want to get 56 mpg looking like that?
Now, the other fun thing about this concept is that it’ll be displayed at a special exhibit at the Le Mans Manufacturers’ Village called “Japan. Endless Discovery,” which is a joint effort from Toyota and Mazda—arguably the two most dominant Japanese marques to race at Le Mans (sorry, Nissan.) That exhibit celebrates Toyota’s wins in recent years as well as Mazda’s groundbreaking rotary-powered 787 race car in 1991.
This weekend is the 100th running of the race, so you should definitely try to tune in if you can. It should be a good one.