Auto shows are home to an automaker’s latest offerings and maybe a few future ones, too. Concepts are a dime a dozen at most shows, often previewing future models under thin theatrics like larger wheels or wild body kits. At this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota arrived with a fascinating model – the Toyota Ambient RD Prius PHV Concept. Yeah, that’s a mouthful, and a bit drab, though it does the concept’s looks no justice.
The Prius concept is the first collaboration between Toyota Modellista, a company division focused on visual enhancements, and Toyota Racing Development (TRD), Toyota’s in-house tuning shop. TRD used its understanding of aerodynamics while Modellista brought its aftermarket visual know-how to the table for a truly bizarre and eye-catching concept.
The concept’s design is nothing short of wild with a white, rounded nose that looks similar to a rejected Apple Magic Mouse design. The aggressive lower fascia looks like a Lamborghini leftover. The white extends in narrowing arches to the base of the windscreen, leaving a slice for what appear to be headlights. Along the side, there are some design elements near the bottom of the doors.
Somehow, at the rear, the design gets even wilder. There’s a long raised spine that stretches from the middle of the roof to the odd wing that sits between two stylised fins, which is something you don’t often see on modern cars, concepts or otherwise. The spine continues down the back of the car to a radical rear diffuser. The edges of the spine and fins are illuminated, too.
Underneath the wild exterior and purple accents is a Prius plug-in hybrid. Though don’t expect the next Prius to have fins and spines and purple accents. This is a concept, a collaboration between two Toyota divisions that focus on entirely different aspects of the automobile. Granted, the result is fascinating.