The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association Show brings all manner of strange, colorful custom-built cars to the Las Vegas Convention Center each year, but the Toyota Prius shown in the TFLCar video above is a definite standout. That’s because it doesn’t retain one iota of its factory hybrid powertrain, instead making use of a 6.2L SRT Hellcat V8 with a 4.5L Whipple supercharger to put 1,000 horsepower down to the road.
The “PriuSRT8” by American Racing Headers of Long Island, New York isn’t really a Prius at all, being built on a custom double-frame-rail chassis. The engine’s tremendous thrust channels through a 6-speed Tremec manual transmission to a 9-inch Ford rear end.
That’s right; it’s rear-wheel-drive.
American Racing Headers constructed the car as a purpose-built drag machine, and in that capacity, it excels. According to the company’s owner, Nick Filippides, this Hellcat-powered Prius can run the quarter-mile in the nine-second range, and he says it could break into the eights with a bit more tuning. Unfortunately, it means you’re not likely to see or hear this hellacious Japanese compact rocketing toward you on the open road.
Then again, since Mopar is now offering the Hellcat V8 as a crate motor, maybe we’ll see more Hellcat-powered Toyota Prii in future years.