CarScoops / Michael Karkafiris / May 30, 2018
When Dodge announced the availability of the Hellcat crate engine, pretty much no one thought: “Now that’s something I want to put into my Prius”. Unless you are American Racing Headers.
ARH created a buzz at last year’s SEMA with their crazy Prius show car which featured a 6.2-liter V8 engine fed by a larger, 4.5-liter Whipple supercharger. Paired to it is a six-speed Tremec manual transmission because it’s “more fun” than having an automatic, according to Nick Filippides, co-owner of American Racing Headers.
In order for the Prius to host the new drivetrain, ARH had to build a custom NHRA-certified chassis which in turn allowed the big V8 to sit underneath the factory bodywork.
The result of all this madness is a Toyota Prius capable of pulling 9 seconds at the quarter mile, with the V8 now producing 800hp on pump gas. However, and despite the extreme mods involved, the ‘PriuSRT8’ remains friendly and usable on the public road, as a testament to the work of ARH.
“There’s no point going for some modified engine with the Hellcat being as good as it is,” said Nick Filippides during 2017 SEMA. “With the Whipple, it’ll make over 1000hp if we want it to – which is fine by us!”