No, this is not Photoshopped and yes, this is an actual Prius created by Toyota. Actually, it’s technically Toyota, but it is from one of its sub-brands known as “Modellista.” It’s a concept called “Ambivalent RD Prius.” Yes, even the name is a bit kooky. Now that you’ve seen a return of fins with the modern touch of added edge lighting, should we expect the return of the 1950s fin? Nah, we didn’t think so either.
But nonetheless, this is for real. Ambivalent RD is based on a Prius Prime sedan with a lot of “visual altering.” It first popped up at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Show. Modellista designed the changes while TRD, Toyota’s racing sub-brand, handled the lowering and performance enhancements.
The Ambivalent RD Prius was done by Toyota’s Modellista
In Japan, Modellista is a tuning arm of Toyota, like AMG is to Mercedes. Through Toyota, it designs and markets different styling kits for many of its performance-oriented models. One of its specialties is aero packages. So, it’s assumed that the modifications you see on the Ambivalent Prius have some function besides styling. Or not.
Then there is the abundance of edge-lighting on different pieces including the snowflake wheels. We can see where this might actually be a trend in the US. Remember the neon undercarriage lighting from a few years ago? It made cars look like they were floating on a cloud of purple gas? Or blue, or pick-your-color?
The flamboyant styling of the Ambivalent RD is obscuring this
The flamboyance of the styling additions is obscuring an interesting thing about the Ambivalent RD. It is now a two-door sedan. Whether by choice or not with the fins rising up in back and then tailing off toward the front, the door disappeared. Our guess is that having to saw a shut-line into all of that fin-ness would have ruined the ambivalence-ness Modellista was aiming for.
We doubt this is a hint of a two-door model, but more of a convenience for the fabricators. There is also the ground-effects stuff going on at the rockers. So a door would have wreaked havoc with all of that, whatever it actually is.
If it seems like we are riffing a bit we are. There was no info available on the Ambivalent RD other than who was responsible for it. So, we have to make some assumptions and a few stabs at what this is and where it is going.
This Prius is one of the wackier concepts from the Tokyo Auto Show
Even without any corroborating info, we thought you would like to see one of the wackier creations from the Tokyo show. The car culture in Japan is different from that in the US and Europe That’s a good thing. Diversity will breed new creative ideas.
If you’ve seen any of the crazy vans with wild body mods and insane paint jobs you might think the Ambivalent RD is a study in restraint. While we don’t expect to see anything like this cross over into the US, it could intersect to create something new. You never know.
The era of fins in the Us back in the 1950s was fun and flamboyant. It was also very cool from our 2000s perspective. So, we would welcome a return of fins in some optimistic sort of way. Just not the Ambivalent RD way?