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Has TRD Finally Made The Toyota Prius Cool?

Reveal / 22 Comments

This is definitely a step in the right direction.

For years the Toyota Prius has been the exact opposite of cool. Like a washing machine on wheels. Since Toyota is all about emotion and passion these days (finally!), has the time come for the Prius to be described as 'cool'? Perhaps.

Set to debut early next month at the Tokyo Auto Salon is the TRD vision for the Prius. The Toyota Racing Development successfully worked its magic for the Avalon and Camry at LA last month, both of which will be offered with TRD packages in the US. Could the Prius be next?

TRD's focus with the Prius hybrid is mostly limited to exterior styling, with the exception of motion control beams, improved tire grip, and a member brace set for a supposedly sportier ride.

As you can tell from the photos, the exterior is the recipient of a body kit that includes an aggressive front spoiler, extended side skirts, and a new rear bumper with a central diffuser. There are even aerodynamic mirror caps, black accents for the front bumper, and a roof-mounted diffuser. Also notice there's a TRD-branded rear bumper protector as well as door handle inserts. Buyers can even choose aluminum wheels sizes ranging from 15- to 18-inches. Yes, that's right. Buyers.

These TRD components are already on sale in Japan and are expected to arrive in additional markets, such as Europe and the US, although we can't confirm the latter just yet. Toyota says these components can be purchased individually or as an entire package.

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For an additional cost, these accessories can also be factory-painted. TRD says the goal with all of these components is to make the Prius more aerodynamic. The only significant interior options are a luggage box, sunshade, and even red start/stop button with the TRD emblem. It's an interesting list of accessories for a vehicle that's never been associated with performance or sport. But we know Toyota is doing its darndest to up the entire lineup's emotional appeal and general usability. Also last month at LA the all-wheel drive 2019 Prius was revealed, which will carry a $27,300 base price when it goes on sale shortly.

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