Go ahead and snicker, but I’ll tell you this flat out: a 2011 Toyota Prius equipped with the soon-available Performance Plus Package will lap a racetrack faster than a stock Prius and (probably) faster than a Lexus CT200h. It’s also faster around a racetrack than a bicycle, moped, desert tortoise or banana slug, but let’s be honest here: a Prius with no engine work and moderate suspension tuning isn’t going to be setting any lap records, at least not compared to other automobiles.
That’s the price to pay if you want to save the planet on autocross weekends, so Toyota has done the environmentally responsible thing in creating the limited-edition Toyota Prius Performance Plus Package. Available in Blizzard Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, Black and Winter Gray Metallic, the package can be added can be added to Prius Two, Three or Four models for $3,699, or to Prius Five models for $2,999. Your money buys you a color-matched body kit, including front and rear bumper spoilers, a rear diffuser, and side skirts, that reduces the Prius’ already-low coefficient of drag. Next up is 17-inch forged alloy wheels shod with 215/45-17 tires, which reduce unsprung weight and widen the car’s track for better cornering. Lower springs drop the car 1.1 inches in front and 1.3 inches in rear, and a stiffer rear sway bar ensures flatter cornering and less understeer than the stock suspension.
No limited edition kit is complete without special badging, so the Prius Performance Plus Package also gives buyers unique logos and special Plus floor mats. If you are in the market for a new Prius and want the best handling version available, this is your ride. Dealers will begin taking orders this month, so get your checkbooks ready.