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Aaron Gold

Toyota announces non-hybrid Prius V6

By April 1, 2008

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Toyota PriusToyota has announced a new version of the Prius that will be powered by a V6 engine and conventional automatic transmission in place of the standard four-cylinder hybrid powertrain.

"Our research shows that many people buy a Prius because they want to project the image of being environmentally friendly," says a Toyota spokesperson. "The Prius V6 bestows the same 'green chic' while delivering the performance and acceleration of a conventional mid-size sedan."

The Prius V6 will use the 3.5 liter 268 horsepower engine from the Toyota Camry. In place of the HYBRID badge, the Prius V6 will get a HY6RID badge -- which, according to Toyota, stands for "High-performance 6-cylinder Racing Inspired Design."

EPA fuel economy estimates for the Prius V6 will be 17 MPG city/25 MPG highway, compared to 48 city/45 highway for the Prius hybrid. "Those are still respectable fuel economy figures," says the Toyota rep. "I mean, it's not like they're driving a Seq -- er, a Suburban." -- Aaron Gold

Related:
2007 Toyota Prius Touring Edition Test Drive

Photo © Aaron Gold

Comments
April 1, 2008 at 2:02 am
(1) Basem says:

What? No V8?

April 1, 2008 at 2:14 am
(2) Jonathan says:

That’s rich! All it needs is a rear wheel drive set up and some street slicks. Go HY6RID!

April 1, 2008 at 2:35 am
(3) joe_thousandaire says:

Ha ha, I’ll part it next to my diesel Corvette.

April 1, 2008 at 3:10 am
(4) Bob R. says:

Nice scoop, one of many outstanding news events I’m sure we’ll see today. I just have a feeling. :-)

April 1, 2008 at 6:09 am
(5) maitreg says:

I may be crazy, but I’ve met a bunch of these Prius owners, and I’m convinced that such a product could be successful. Most (not all) of these people are far more concerned with the impression their making on their neighbors than saving money or fuel. The V6 might be over the top, but a regular 4-cylinder with ~130 hp and 35 mpg would do the trick, as long as it still had the silly little “Hybrid” and “Prius” badges on the back.

They lament the poor acceleration, especially at highways speeds. One guy told me that he loathes driving through the mountains because he has to use the 35 mph “truck lane” they’ve reserved for big rigs that have trouble going up hills.

If Toyota could get a standard 4-cylinder into the Prius while implementing some very mild hybrid system (even some type of non-electric motor system like BMW’s) while still retaining the exact same “Hybrid” and “Prius” badges on the back, they’ll satisfy the need of most Prius owners while attracting more buyers.

Trust me, these Prius owners are not “car guys”. Most of them don’t have a clue about how their cars work. They just like the fact that they are driving a car that the MSM has told them that “good people” drive.

Another guy I know that’s on his 2nd Prius has repeatedly referred to it as an “electric” car, even though he spends all his time on the highway and gets mpg in the low 40′s. When I questioned the “electric” monicker he’d given it and asked why he didn’t call it a hybrid, he just gave me a glazed over look, the kind of look you get from non-car-guys whenever you talk about car stuff.

April 1, 2008 at 6:14 am
(6) maitreg says:

Yea, I remember your diesel Corvette from last year. You had me going on that one for a bit, particularly because of the potential for such a car if done right.

I was thinking, “If Audi could do it, then why can’t GM!” Then I slapped myself for even considering such a statement.

April 1, 2008 at 6:43 am
(7) Keith says:

Great “news” item. LOL. Sad thing is I had to read it a couple of times before I saw the true intent. It could happen! Don’t give Toyota any ideas.

April 1, 2008 at 6:45 am
(8) turbobeetle says:

Is this some sort of April fools joke? Who would buy a Prius with a high performance v6 engine? This is the kind of stuff I would expect from the domestic car companies…

April 1, 2008 at 8:29 am
(9) Mike in Minn says:

Calm down there turbobeetle. This is, in fact, “some sort of April fools joke”. :)

April 1, 2008 at 9:33 am
(10) Matt says:

Good one. Almost had me for a second.

April 1, 2008 at 11:33 am
(11) GHCM says:

HAPPY ARRIL FOOLS DAY!
Here’s a good site for the shirt…
http://www.GODHATESCOUNTRYMUSIC.com

April 1, 2008 at 12:28 pm
(12) Jeff says:

Remember what the date is you fools.

April 1, 2008 at 12:38 pm
(13) Phildee says:

Hey, how about a Corvette with a turbo 4-cyl cranking out 200 H.P? Dynamite!Forget diesel.

April 1, 2008 at 1:38 pm
(14) John in San Jose says:

Has to be an April Fool’s joke… Good one, though. The thought of people buying a V6 Prius for the “image” only is pretty funny. And, I’d bet Toyota might even sell a couple…

April 1, 2008 at 1:53 pm
(15) Scott from Madison WI says:

Happy April Fool’s Day!!!

April 1, 2008 at 1:56 pm
(16) Iggie57 says:

Great idea! I’m not sure I’m crazy about the HY6RID badge. Kinda fooling the public but a needed touch, I guess? I like the Prius but it needed more power. Now it’s finally arrived. Good Job!

April 1, 2008 at 2:00 pm
(17) Arnie says:

Hey Iggie, April fools!!! Do you really think Toyota would do that? I don’t think so!!!

April 1, 2008 at 2:04 pm
(18) Eco-man says:

Nice one Aaron! You had a few people going. It sounded good but, no dice!

April 1, 2008 at 2:33 pm
(19) Stephanie Brown says:

HY6RID

Oh, that’s too good. You had me going for a moment.

April 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm
(20) Joe says:

APRIL FOOL, RIGHT?

April 1, 2008 at 7:05 pm
(21) hawaiian don says:

I gotta have me one of those…I’ll park it right next to my Hybrid Corvette!!!

April 2, 2008 at 2:04 am
(22) Life says:

LOL!! sort of scary!

April 2, 2008 at 9:43 am
(23) RobAFromNC says:

Definitely April fools! Good one.

April 2, 2008 at 7:06 pm
(24) Shaun says:

Good April fools there…had me thinking Toyota was loosing their minds for a second!

April 3, 2008 at 7:52 pm
(25) Paul says:

Since Honda introduced the Insight, I thought it’d be fun to drop a Civic Si engine in one and remove the batteries.

The same could be done with a Prius. Removing the batteries would reduce weight and adding a turbocharged or supercharged Scion TC 2.4 liter would do wonders for the horsepower to weight ratio.

Even though no one has dropped a V6 into a Prius yet, they have been turbocharged:
http://autospeed.com/cms/A_2664/article.html
and hydrogen powered:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nL4iuE2Fqo

March 31, 2009 at 11:48 pm
(26) PMAN says:

good april fools joke LOL!!!!

July 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm
(27) Tophu530 says:

This would be a great way to hustle people, and make them look like a fool at the same time. Just ask a civic to race and kill it. easy money.

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