Toyota Hybrid Roadster Wows Japanese Audiences


Toyota TE-S800

Everyone needs a hobby, but what if you’re a Toyota engineer and building technologically advanced prototypes is your hobby? Don’t you get enough of that at work? Apparently not, since that was the motivation behind the plug-in sportscar you see here. Built on an old MR2 platform using from Toyota’s corporate Prius/Corolla parts bins by company engineers with a lot of free time on their hands, the Toyota TE-S800 is a sweet-looking plug-in hybrid roadster that weighs less than 2000 lbs. and rockets to 60 MPH in just 5.8 seconds (!).

Motive power is provided by Toyota’s 1.5 liter Otto-cycle 1NZ-FE engine, sold in the US under the hood of the latest Prius. The car features a free-flowing sport exhaust that allows the engine to kick out more than 115 hp at 6400 rpm. That engine is boosted by the plug-in Prius’ 102 hp electric motor coupled to a Toyota E-CVT transmission.

The TE-S800 was quietly unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon, but didn’t get much press since it wasn’t an “official” project. All the same, this hybrid roadster is based on a chassis that met US crash standards the last time it was imported, and is powered by a drivetrain that is definitely clean enough to meet US emissions standards. What do you guys think? Is this the kind of mid-engined go-fast hybrid Toyota should build, or would you be more excited about a KERS-equipped FR-S or the more luxurious Lexus RC300h? Let us know what direction you’d like to see Toyota take in the comments section at the bottom the page.


Source | Photos: Toyota Engineering Society, via TechVehi.

About the Author

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.
  • Markwbrooks

    A Prius for the motor head! Awesome!

  • danwat1234

    115HP out of the 1.5L Prius C engine? The Prius C engine in the Prius C is 73HP at 4800RPM. I guess the free flowing exhaust as long as increasing the RPM limite helps bring it all the way up to 115HP?
    But still hard to believe since it is an Atkinson cycle engine. Maybe they added direct injection too.

    And curious what the net HP is with the electric motor maxxed out too?

    • gendotte

      Who cares! I want it!

      • danwat1234

        I’m a nerd I like details. I think they mean 115HP net with electrics helping so the engine isn’t that powerful.

        • No, they seem to specify that it’s 115 from the engine. Not that the translation isn’t suspect, but if you’re willing to tune the variable valvetrain for high rpm performance instead of low rpm energy production/torque, you could easily get there.

  • roseland67

    Looks cool, has some Roadster and Porsche lines.
    Would like to see straight electric motor drive train
    and a small on-board purpose built ICE to run only when needed
    solely to charge batteries.
    ICE/generator only runs at 1 speed, whatever the most efficient
    speed is to charge battery.
    Probably 90% of urban transportation is/can/will be done on battery power,
    charge battery @ home/office, ICE only needed during long hauls,
    and how many of those are you going to make in a Roadster?

  • mauiboy

    Is it just me, or is this car’s styling and purpose a blatant rip-off of the much more stylish, hit-the-circuit-first Honda EVSTER?

    • There are similarities, but I don’t think they’re that similar. For one, the Honda is like, half the size of this thing.

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  • Jimmy Shipp

    I have a Prius–two, actually, and I would love to see Toyota build a sporty, fun-to-drive roadster that is more powerful than a Miata, and less expensive than a Boxter. Sub 5 second zero to 60 times, rear wheel drive and classic lines (not something that looks like a batmobile). I would get in line to buy today.