Is the Hot New Prius Primed to Become a Hybrid Off-Road SUV?
It’s not everyday that you see an off-road build of a Toyota Prius, though we’re sure they do exist. From the factory, the plug-in hybrid—even the all-wheel-drive version—is not equipped for off-roading of any sort, but that doesn’t stop our imagination from exploring what could be possible if Toyota were to expand the Prius lineup to include something far more rugged and SUV-shaped in the near future. With the help of artificial intelligence, here’s what that could look like.
Toyota Prius Hybrid SUV – Max Is Mad
The well-received 2023 Prius design adopts the headlights of the larger Toyota Crown line of sedans and SUVs, the roofline is 2 inches lower than the outgoing model, and bigger wheels and a wider rear dimension make for a more planted, sporty stance. We’ve employed the help of an artificial intelligence program, using both older and current Prius designs and off-roading text prompts, to engineer what a more rugged Prius would look like. The results are a strange mix of Mad Max and a French car designer’s fever dream.
Toyota Prius Hybrid SUV – Angular
We’ve done our best to get a few variations and different angles of what our Prius off-roader could look like. These first attempts looks like a Cybertruck merged with a Citroen, and they’ve been curated to be painted my favorite color on a car, yellow. It looks like there’s a modified front bumper for improved ground clearance, and the cut fenders and fog lights are all impressive design touches for the computer to spit out.
Toyota Prius Hybrid SUV – The French Connection
A few of the designs came out looking more like a French station wagon, this one featuring a greenhouse and silhouette reminding us of a Citroen CX or XM. Again, the AI gets the fenders, front bumper, and wheels mostly right for what you’d expect from a modified off-roader Prius.
Toyota Prius Hybrid SUV – More SUV
Some of the other designs are more reminiscent of a taller SUV shape—something more akin to the RAV4. The greenhouse is tighter, and there’s a higher shoulder line, ultimately making for what appears to be a slightly larger vehicle than our previous renders. The more modern-looking headlight signatures are a little closer to the newest Prius design.
Toyota Prius Hybrid SUV – In the Snow
We have to admit, this thing looks pretty big for a Prius, but who knows? Like the new Grand Highlander, maybe one day we’d get a Grand Prius. That’s not a bad name for a Prius SUV.
Toyota Prius Hybrid SUV – The Real Prius
The real-life 2023 Prius gets Toyota’s fifth-generation hybrid system utilizing a 2.0-liter I-4 engine paired with a lithium-ion battery pack, making 194 horsepower and getting from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, or just 7 seconds for the all-wheel drive model (that gets an additional 2 hp). The 2023 Prius is reported to get up to 57 mpg combined.
If a Prius SUV did go into production, we doubt Toyota would start out with super-rugged off-road variants, anyway. Eventually, perhaps TRD would get around to offering their own performance upgrades, as well. However, there’s no word that a real Prius hybrid SUV is in the cards for production anytime soon.
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