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The updated 2023 Toyota Prius is an attention-grabber and for all the right reasons. But Toyota isn’t done showing off its sporty hybrid contender, this time with a stunning concept. Dubbed the Prius 24h Le Mans Centennial GR Edition, this aggressive Prius hybrid is only a concept…for now.

What makes the GR Prius Le Mans concept special?

The 2023 Toyota Prius already looks great, but with the updates applied to this special concept, it’s a real head-turner. Up front, a quartet of LED foglights flank the honeycomb grille. That lower grille itself is more brutish, with squared corners and two large inlets on either end.

Below that, a stepped splitter gives the GR Prius concept an aggressive, race-inspired design, as do the dive planes below the headlights. These aerodynamic tweaks are said to improve performance. However, the car appears to be a show car, and Toyota hasn’t indicated any on-road or track testing.

In addition, a carbon fiber hood reduces weight and lowers the center of gravity. And with a two-tone, black-over-white livery, the GR Prius concept calls back to its Hybrid Hypercar cousins that will compete in the Le Mans 24-Hour race this weekend.

Around back, a large rear wing and aggressive diffuser add to the bold looks of this race-inspired Prius upfit. Even better, the GR Prius concept features a wide-track suspension setup and 18-inch Ray’s Lightweight racing wheels with 235mm width tires.

It’s important to note that this is a concept show car on display at the Le Mans 24-hour race. As such, Toyota indicates nothing in the way of performance tweaks to the hybrid powertrain.

Is there a production GR Prius on the way?

The side of the Toyota GR Prius Le Mans concept, with the GR logo surrounding the rear wheel of the vehicle.
Side profile of the Toyota GR Prius | Toyota

Toyota is in the midst of a renaissance of sorts. Not long ago, it wouldn’t be out of place to attach words like “boring”, “uninspired”, or “vanilla” to Toyota’s lineup of vehicles. Perhaps no car expressed this hyper-normcore aesthetic more than the humble Prius. It was ugly. It was slow. The in-car tech was weird. It was the butt of jokes and a blocker of left lanes aplenty for most of its life. But now? The Prius has gotten the kind of glow-up typically reserved for campy, problematic 90s teen movies.

All of that is to say that no, it wouldn’t be a shock to see a GR Prius. Car enthusiasts love hot hatches, to the point where Volkswagen just unloaded a complete run of limited edition Golf R 333s in just under 8 minutes, despite an $80,000 price tag. And stateside? Good luck finding a GR Corolla on any dealer lot for the next six months.

Furthermore, hybrid cars are becoming a more popular choice, even among those that would previously avoid them. The 220-horsepower Prius Prime packs punch on par with the MK7 GTI. A bit of engine tuning could get that platform above the 250-horsepower mark, especially considering Toyota’s reputation for conservative factory settings.

No official word from Toyota

Toyota GR Prius render from rear
Toyota GR Prius Rear | Toyota

Before you (or I, or anyone else) get too excited, Toyota hasn’t said anything about sending a GR Prius to production. Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time that public pressure has convinced the brand to launch a new performance product in America.

The eternal praise piled onto the GR Yaris led Toyota to bring us the GR Corolla two years later. And with cars like the former Corolla Apex Edition and the current Camry TRD in the fold, it’s clear that the Japanese car brand isn’t above taking its mainstream products to new performance playgrounds.

For now, though, we can stare at the GR Prius Le Mans Concept and hope. 

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