The annual SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas will see Toyota launching an all-new sporty package for its Prius hybrid, which will be available in limited production beginning in April 2011.
Developed by Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the Performance Package doesn't justify its name with changes under the hood, relying instead on a sporty outfit and a sports tuned suspension plus beefier tire and alloy wheel combos for improved handling.
The aerodynamic kit comprises of seven pieces including a uniquely styled rear diffuser, front and rear bumper spoilers and side skirts. According to Toyota, the aero add-ons don't affect the hybrid car's 0.25 coefficient of drag.
The Prius PLUS also gets race-inspired 17-inch forged wheels that are fitted with low profile 215/45R17 tires and have a custom offset, which is said to increase track width while keeping the standard model's rolling resistance.
To improve handling, TRD installed sports-tuned lowering springs, which Toyota claims "provide a lower center of gravity, enhancing the vehicles on-road performance through quicker turn-in, enhanced steering response and improved cornering ability." In addition, the Prius Plus gains a rear sway bar to reduce body roll "for flatter, more stable cornering and maneuverability."
Completing the package are a set of unique floormats with a "PLUS" logo and a "PLUS" exterior badge.
According to the Japanese automaker, TRD is developing similar packages under the "PLUS" brand for other hybrid models in Toyota's lineup.