The fifth-generation Toyota Prius is a massive step forward in terms of driving excitement (and visual excitement) over its forebears. Since the nameplate’s launch in 1997, enthusiasts have feared what the green meanies and their compact hybrid fuel sippers would mean for the future of driving. Thankfully, it seems Toyota has managed to make the Prius so good that it not only saves fuel, but it’s pretty fun to drive at the same time. The mad scientists, Paul and Todd of EverydayDriver, benchmarked their lightly-modified Prius against the hot hatch baseline Mk8 Volkswagen GTI, and found it not wanting for much.
The XW60-generation Prius combines a 2-liter inline four cylinder with an electric motor for a total of 196 horsepower. While that’s not quite as much as the GTI’s 241 horsepower, they weigh almost exactly the same at more or less 3200 pounds, and the Prius delivers its power more linearly with the electric motor torque boost. The GTI will run from 0-62 in just 6.3 seconds, while the Prius takes about a second longer at 7.2 seconds (but that’s a far cry from the 10.5 seconds the previous generation Prius needed).
Ten years ago if you’d even proposed the idea of a GTI-beater based on the Prius, you’d be laughed out of the room. But today, it’s maybe possible, and that gets me pretty excited. We already know what GR can do to a Toyota, and we know it’s good.
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