Got a Prius? Got spare parts and some extra time?

Posted by Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling

Auto engineers, like everyone else, need things to do in their spare time to keep themselves amused. If you are part of Toyota, this might mean you belong to the Toyota Engineering Society (TES). And if you belong to TES, you are likely using parts from the brand to build, say, a Prius like plug-in hybrid roadster on steroids.

The TE-Spyder 800, according to Technologic Vehicles, was the result of a particular engineering team’s off hours tinkering. Making use of Prius third-generation hybrid drivetrain technology, they constructed an amazing looking convertible that combines sportiness and efficiency. It is very reminiscent in look to the Toyota MR2, a two seater sports car produced by the automaker that was popular mainly in the 1980s and 90s.

image via TES

image via TES

Specifications from a Toyota-associated website reveal this car to sport a 1NZ-FE gas engine (basically, the Prius engine) with a 75 kW electric motor. Though there is no information available on range or fuel economy, what is known is the TE-Spyder 800, based on what’s been built, is capable of hitting 60 miles per hour in under six seconds.

The plug-in hybrid prototype, unveiled at the recent Tokyo Auto Salon, is likely a one shot only offering that will never actually see any form of production status. Still, it shows some exciting things which can be done to create unique variants with Prius technology.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling