As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you an old Toyota Prius, put a Hellcat engine in it. Wait, what?
That’s exactly what American Racing Headers has done with this ‘PriuSRT8.’ Based on a custom-built chassis beneath a Prius body, it comes with a Hellcat crate engine that was upgraded with a 4.5-litre supercharger and associated goodies for an eventual output of 800bhp. At the wheels.
A six-speed manual transmission is old-school these days, but it’s the home comforts that really turn our heads. There’s a heater with an air-con system, a 75.7-litre fuel tank and – apparently – about 25 US miles per gallon on the highway (equivalent to 30mpg in the UK).
We saw this very car at SEMA 2017 and spoke to its creator Nick Filippides. Check out the video above. We’re always amazed at how the American customisation scene can more or less always make a project happen, no matter how bonkers.
The seats come from a Trans-Am because (strangely enough) the basic perches in the Prius aren’t very supportive for drag racing in. If you recognise the dashboard it’s because it comes from a Ford Mustang. American Racing Headers cannibalised existing parts wherever possible to simplify the process.
Never mind all that, though. Will it wheelie? You bet your ass it will. Right now it’s good for a 9.38-second run down the quarter-mile strip, but the PriuSRT8’s makers say there’s much more to come. The target is “well into the eight-second zone,” and we can’t wait to see it.