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Rated H: Chikan Sukebe
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The squeaky clean Toyota Prius will race in one of the world's great speed record meetings at the famous annual Bonneville Nationals Speed Week meeting in Utah in August.

The car is undergoing an amazing transformation at the Toyota's motorsport workshop in Torrance, Los Angeles.

So why is Toyota turning its pioneering fuel-sipping Prius into a land-speed rocket? To prove that hybrid technology, which will be commonplace in models in less than five years, does not mean cars will be dull, slow and boring. And because the Prius' participation will provide the basis for rules to be drawn up for a new hybrid class starting next year.

The souped-up Prius will run bigger tires to achieve better gear ratios while more power will be extracted from the electric motor. Run in the harsh environment of a massive salt flat at an elevation of 4264', the Prius's dual power system will be a bonus. The electric motor will not be affected by the altitude like a regular combustion engine.

Chuck Wade, director of Toyota's Motorsports technical group, says that 150mph is a realistic speed. The Prius will be driven by Aaron Robinson, from the leading magazine Car And Driver.

If you ask me I think they are using this as a stepping stone to make something like the Alessandro Volta Concept a reality and an actual production car.
 
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