- Apr 1, 2008
Get your Trek on: Boldly going places in a Toyota Prius
First off, this isn't an April Fool's gag. Dr. Willie Yee is a psychiatrist in Ulster County, New York, but one look at his car tells you that that the man is also a Trekkie -- a serious one at that. Dr. Yee's 2007 Toyota Prius has been transformed from a garden-variety commuter pod into the Federation Prius-class shuttlecraft, Zhang Heng, named for a 1st century Chinese astronomer. The physical conversion involved the application of full Federation markings to the vehicle's exterior and fitting the wheels with a set of moon caps. Inside, a four-person away team can be transported in complete comfort. Dr. Yee has posted extensive documentation related to the Zhang Heng on his website, where you'll learn that it has a top speed of Warp 2 and is armed with a pair of 4-terawatt phasers, among other things (tailgating is not advised).
Kudos to Dr. Yee for keeping things fun. We have to wonder where he gets the dilithium crystals needed to run the warp-enabled car, though. They must be even harder to come by than E85 pumps.
UPDATE: Toyota's Open Road Blog caught up with Dr. Yee, too. Apparently, tinted windows and simulated front-bumper phaser banks are planned future mods.