2016 Toyota Prius GT300 4

The 2016 Super GT Championship will kick off in less than four months’ time in April, so now is the time that teams will unveil their challengers for this year, before testing starts in earnest. One of the weirder mainstays in the Japanese race series is the Toyota Prius GT300 entered by APR Racing, and with the arrival of the fourth-generation hybrid, so has the race car moved to the new shape.

And what a shape it is. If you thought the old Prius racer was outlandish enough as is, the new car – adopting Toyota’s Keen Look design language, high-mounted arrow-shaped headlights and full-length tail lights – looks like a manga race car from the future. That massive wing on the slammed rear end, sitting at the same height as the rear deck of the standard car, is absolutely ridiculous and ridiculously awesome all the same.

As before, that shape (along with a small number of common components) is all that links the racer to the road car. And while the engine is now front-mounted instead of in the middle like before – thanks to new regulations requiring engineers to retain the standard engine placement – that engine remains the same fire-breathing RV8K 3.5 litre racing V8, used, among others, in Rebellion’s Le Mans prototypes.

2016 Toyota Prius GT300 5

What’s more, to retain the “hybrid” bit, the racing Prius uses the same electric motor, battery and other gubbins as the standard car, which we imagine would be akin to using a motor from an electric pencil sharpener to propel an Airbus A380.

The 2016 Super GT Championship is set to kick off at the Okayama International Circuit on April 9 to 10, and if APR Racing’s past experience is any indication, you can bet your bottom dollar that this little Prius will rough it out with the best of them.