Hybrids

There's a new V8-powered racing Prius in the world, and this one handles

The Toyota Prius racecar will participate in Japan's Super GT racing series in 2019.

Let's try a thought experiment, shall we? Close your eyes and picture in your mind a low slung, widebody racing car. Imagine that it has a loud, angry V8 engine and a big wing out back. Open your eyes. Was the car you pictured a Toyota Prius? Of course not, that's crazy and could never exist -- except that it does.

In Japan, the Super GT racing series takes production cars from predominantly Japanese domestic manufacturers and transforms them beyond almost all recognition into crazy looking racing cars. The Prius race car you just didn't picture is actually taking part in the series lower-class GT300 series for the 2019 season and the video of it undergoing testing published Wednesday is getting our heart pumping.

If you're asking yourself why this is even a thing, you should go sit in a corner and think about why you're such a buzzkill while the rest of us get excited over how this thing looks and sounds. The widebody is so extreme, and the roofline is so low, but it still somehow reads as a Prius.

This racing version Toyota's narcolepsy-on-wheels Prius indeed packs a mid-mounted, naturally-aspirated V8 that normally sees duty in the Lexus RC-F GT3 race car. Unlike some fancypants European (or Ford Shelby GT350) flat-plane V8, this engine is a cross-plane crank design like most production car V8 engines and as such it sounds burly and mean.

We never thought we'd ever have occasion to say this after we found out about the Hellcat-powered 9-second drag Prius, but we now have a new favorite V8-powered Prius and dangit, this one handles.

(h/t to Jalopnik for digging this video up)