2011 Toyota Prius gets new PLUS Performance Package

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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When the Toyota Prius PLUS Performance Package debuted at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in 2010 it seemed like a neat idea, although perhaps a bit of gimmick. After all, why outfit an ultra-green grocery getter with racy performance upgrades? Well, why not?

The Prius PLUS Performance Package makes its debut in the United States this month and pricing for the unique package has already been determined. $3,699 USD will upgrade the Prius Two, Three and Four models, while $2,999 USD is needed to upgrade the Prius Four to the PLUS Performance Package. Unfortunately, this package won't be available in Canada.

So, what exactly are we missing out on north of the 49th? U.S. Toyota customers who opt for the Prius PLUS Performance Package can choose from four colours including Blizzard Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, Winter Gray Metallic and Black. A seven-piece aerodynamic ground effects kit is provided in and includes front and rear bumper spoilers, side skirts and even a rear diffuser. Toyota says the body kit was designed to reduce the car's drag coefficient.

Prius' outfitted with the PLUS Performance Package are equipped with 17-inch forged alloy wheels and 215/45R17 tires. The tires feature a custom offset from the wheels and are claimed to increase the car's track width while maintaining the Prius' low rolling resistance. Track-tuned lowering springs reduce the Prius' ride height by 28 mm (1.1 inches) in the front and 33 mm (1.3 inches) at the back. That's actually a significant height reduction and Toyota says the lowered ride height allows for quicker turn-in, faster steering response and improved cornering ability. Lastly, a rear sway bar helps to reduce body lean and therefore makes for better cornering as well as maneuverability.
 
The Prius PLUS Performance Package was apparently developed to "meet the evolving demands of the growing hybrid segment" and is available in limited quantities. While it may seem redundant to add such an upgrade to the economy focused Prius, the improved cornering and maneuverability afforded by the PLUS Performance Package should add a bit of safety as well as sporting flair.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Hybrid, HEV, Toyota, 2011, Prius, $30,000 - $39,999,

Organizations: Toyota

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