Toyota’s Prius Aerius Show Car Offers Cool, Aggressive Styling
Updated December 16, 2012
Toyota unveiled its Prius Aerius show car at the recent Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, continuing this automaker’s every-so-often efforts in showing how the Prius can be dressed up to exude performance, sportiness, or other characteristics beyond eco-friendliness. We’ve seen this done successfully before, most notably with the cool Prius GT in 2005 and the Prius land-speed record car the year before.
‘Aerius’ is Latin for ‘belonging to the air.’ Apparently smitten with Latin – no real surprise since the Prius model name is itself derived from the Latin phrase ‘to go before’ – Toyota also built a close cousin of the Aerius called the ‘Aemulus’ (‘envious imitation’). The Aemulus has been donated for an Environmental Media Association (EMA) charity auction being conducted online at CharityFolks.com/EMA that ends on November 23 at 3:00 p.m. EST.
Starting with the all-new 2010 Prius, Southern California-based Five Axis Design smoothed out the car with a stylish ground-effects kit of its own creation to lend a more aggressive, ground-hugging appearance. Made of partially recycled materials, the four-piece polyurethane kit integrates a front lip spoiler, side skirts, and a rear lower valance. This was no simple add-an. In fact, plenty of work went into creating an aero kit that wouldn’t compromise the Prius’ slippery aerodynamics. Swift Engineering’s Computational Fluid Dynamics software was used during the design and testing stages to validate that the car’s 0.25 coefficient of drag (Cd) was retained.
The exterior was sprayed with a custom waterborne paint created by Nippon Color Design Studio America to infer the color of the sky. Crystalline automotive window film by 3M was applied to block 99.9 percent of UV light, effectively offering an equivalent SPF rating of over 1,000. Rolling stock is comprised of smooth, clear covered Five Axis 19-inch wheels wrapped with Yokohama Super E-Spec low rolling resistance orange-oil tires.
Inside, True Textiles recycled polyester fabric covers seats bolstered with Ultrafabrics environmentally produced polyurethane materials. Interior accents are made of 3form’s eco-recycled resin created from 40 percent post-industrial recycled content and reclaimed birch trees. Sounds are provided by a Pioneer 900-watt, 10 speaker audio system with a pair of 10-inch subwoofers plus front and rear component speakers. Vizualogic 7-inch DVD entertainment units are built into the headrests. To keep things clean and shiny, an eco-positive Car Planet detailing kit is also part of the package.
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