2023 Toyota Prius Taxi Shows Zephyr Widebody Kit Like It’s SEMA Time

Regardless of whether you live in New York, Los Angeles, or some other city in the world, if you look around, you’ll notice an increasing number of cabs that stand out thanks to various forms of customization. Sure, not all customers pay attention to this, but many do, and this is where the 2023 Toyota Prius Taxi sporting a Zephyr Widebody kit comes into play.

For 2023, Toyota reinvented the Prius. And while everybody expected the new model to be more efficient, the carmaker surprised us by giving the new Prius a coupe-like silhouette and offering respectable performance. The latter part is especially true for the 2023 Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, whose 220 hp powertrain brings the 0 to 60 mph acceleration down to 6.6 seconds—all that while the EPA rating sits at 50 mpg city and 47 mpg highway.

The sportier look of the new model works as an appetizer for many custom car enthusiasts, with fans of the genre asking for 2023 Prius widebody kits. And while Toyota does offer factory-width body kits from in-house tuner Modellista, the 2023 SEMA Show (October 31-November 3) will introduce an onslaught of widebody 2023 Prii.

Some of the 2023 Prius body kits we’ll meet at SEMA will be based on renderings like the one we have here—we’ve already shown you how digital artist Zephyr Designz injected tons of extra aggression into the 2023 Prius with his “Hardcore” widebody kit in all-black form, but this time around he gave the Toyota a cab makeover.

2023 Toyota Prius Taxi shines new light on the Zephyr Widebody Kit

At least to these eyes, nothing brings out the sculpted shapes of this Prius widebody kit like the striking yellow shade of this rendering. There’s no taxi sign on the roof, though, as that would impact efficiency—for one, the 2023 Prius Prime’s range-topping XSE Premium trim has an EV range rating of 39 miles. Still, the black decals on the body tell the Prius taxi story quite well.

Looking past the color, the molded Zephyr widebody of the 2023 Toyota Prius Taxi means those integrated (i.e. not bolted on) fenders add 3 inches on each side. Take a look inside them and you’ll find Rotiform wheels of the ZMO-M variety, a cast monoblock model that currently only comes in 19-inch size.

The mean-looking front bumper mixes gaping air intakes featuring honeycomb grilles with air extractors for the front wheels. And the aero at the back is just as aggressive, starting with the diffuser that sports an F1-style third brake light for the Prius. Plus, the super-sized exhaust with quad tips could make an impression on its own.

The Zephyr Widebody for the 2023 Toyota Prius Taxi also includes a massive rear wing. However, in order for the said efficiency impact to be limited, the wing would need a DRS (Drag Reduction System) like the one displayed on the 992 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

The popularity of the Toyota Prius as a taxi

The Toyota Prius became North America’s first hybrid taxi back in 2000, entering service in Vancouver, British Columbia. Over the years, its reach as a taxi expanded, with operators relying on assets such as the Prius’ stellar reliability and, of course, increased fuel efficiency. And, given the high annual mileage of taxis, the reduction in fuel costs outweighs the costs of replacing the battery.

However, to this day, there is no federal law that facilitates the use of hybrid taxis. Nevertheless, various cities across the US have attempted to incentivize the use of hybrid cabs. Alas, hurdles like New York’s Taxi of Tomorrow attempting to use non-hybrid Nissan NV200 vans have limited progress in this area.

The said NY program has adjusted its rules to only include hybrids in 2013, but it only allows vehicles with interiors that are at least 130 cu ft to qualify. For the record, the 2023 Toyota Prius Prime has a passenger space of 91.5 cubic feet, which is just over what its predecessor offered (91.3 cu ft). Nevertheless, due to the sportier design, the cargo space of the 2023 Prius Prime is slightly lower than that of the 2022 model (think: from 24.6 to 19.8 cu ft).

Then again, as stated in the intro, some cabs favor the fun factor above everything else, with this Mazda CX-5 pickup truck gone party taxi being an example as good as any.



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