• May 1st 2008 at 2:58PM
  • 57
Click above for a gallery of the Prius Convertible.

Some modifications improve the breed; others are just plain stupid. We'll let you decide on this one. A forum member at PriusChat by the name of Exproducer spent six months and over $17,000 modifying his Waveline Blue Prius to get the open-air experience that was obviously lacking from his life. The amount of mods necessary to remove the roof and install the electrically operated soft top are staggering. The side airbags had to be nixed and the rear seats no longer fold down. The antenna had to be removed and relocated to the dashboard, and the trunk has lost half of its usable space with the top folded down. However, what's even more disturbing is Exproducer's claim that while fuel economy has dropped by two MPG with the top up, it's actually improved by four MPG when he's cruising with the wind in his hair. Since Toyota spent millions of dollars on wind tunnel testing the Prius to make it slippery as snot, we somehow doubt the validity of those figures. Regardless, head on over to PriusChat if you want to read up on all the details of the build.

Thanks for the tip, Danny!

[Source: PriusChat]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Howard D
      • 25 Days Ago

      The article has the mpg details backwards and i didn't see it mentioned in the comments. The forum post states that the mpg is improved with the top up, not down as posted here:

      The top seals nicely with little wind noise. The mileage with top down loses approximately 2 miles a gallon and with the top up gains approximately 4 miles per gallon. Who would know!

      • 7 Years Ago
      This proves, that prius owners don't care about the cost of fuel. It is all about the image. And people used to complain about BMW owners. I think BMW owners are practical now.

      Props to this guy for do what he wants to regardless of what I and everyone else here says.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Who buys a Prius and has $17,000 extra to blow on anything?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Prius owners don't buy a Prius to save money. It's the "hey look at me, I care more about the environment than you" attitude.
        • 7 Years Ago
        He saved the 17K in gas so he figured he'd spend it on the car. Just joking around by they way.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Many rich people buy Prius. HOWEVER, it's not like they are unaffordable for most people. If these dumbasses who keep insinuating that you must be rich and smug to buy a Prius would take a second to do some research, they would see that a Prius starts at $21k. If you factor in money a Prius owner saves at the pump, it really doesn't sound like a person has too be rich by any stretch of the imagination to get a Prius.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Who buys a Prius and has $17,000 extra to blow on anything?"

        The guy who just owns the Prius to show that he cares more about the environment than you do.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Dan, the Prius is not the same size class as a Corolla, nor are they available with the same options, so your comparison is pretty ridiculous.
        For example, the keyless start/entry system is the same one you'd find on Lexus vehicles, and this is not an option at all on the Corolla.
        And you can get a backup camera on the Prius, which you can't get on the Corolla. You can also get HIDs and leather on the Prius.
        The Prius has like 8% more interior volume and a lot more cargo volume than the Corolla.
        If you want to actually compare it to something it's probably most similar to the Avenesis Verso since they have almost identical passenger space volume (around 96 cubic feet for both). It's not sold in the USA, but it's larger than the Corolla and smaller than the Camry, and more money than the Corolla.
        Just because two cars look vaguely similar does not mean they're the same car. By your logic nobody should ever bother buying anything except the cheapest car they can find, I mean who cares if one car is a 5 door hatch with way more cargo space right?
        Anyways, to people who aren't complete morons, the Prius is a car that's loaded with tons of tech gadgets and toys and slightly narrower than a Camry, but has good/great leg room and is thrifty on the gas. It's available options include plenty of neat tech, so it's not a stripper. The corolla is also fairly thrifty on the gas, but it's much more of an economy car than the Prius, and a smaller car that's less suited for carrying stuff.

        If you really want to talk about what the markup on the Prius is for being a hybrid you'd have to estimate what an Avenesis Verso would cost in the US. Since the Matrix is a 5 door Corolla and an Avenesis Verso is a slightly larger 5-door, it'd most likely be a couple thousand more than the Matrix, especially since it would most likely get the engine put in the Matrix XRS. So I'd estimate starting based MSRP would be around 19K, then go from there if you load it up.
        Since the Prius starts at about 21K, that's about $2000 going towards it being a hybrid, which is pretty reasonable.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What I wanted to imply was that I think of a Prius driver as buying a Prius to save gas. Seems silly to spend $17k extra on a vehicle that you bought to save gas.

        If it was purchased for environmental reasons, cool, save the rainforest blah blah. AB Green plz :)

        I do respect the project and really appreciate the work that went in to it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        My local Toyota dealers have a total of 4 Piouses in stock, and they're selling for $500-1000 under MSRP. And those four aren't strippers, so my real transaction price if I needed a car today would be around $26K + TTL.

        When there are scores of 2009 Corollas on the same lot priced in the mid $15s, I have trouble seeing the Pious as anything other than conspicuous consumption to show how concerned you are about consumption.
        • 7 Years Ago
        More often than not it is the rich man driving the Prius and the poor man driving the 535i. Most people smart enough to know how to truly build wealth know that buying expensive luxury cars is one of the single worst things you can ever do with your money.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not saying Prius drivers are poor by any means - just, miserly. You'd think this guy was, buying a hybrid and even figuring out his slight MPG losses and gains. He's really looking for a good return on his investment here.

        Oh, and then he spends 200,000 miles worth of gas on a convertible roof for it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Many Prious owners do have the 17k to blow on it. It's not a poor man's car.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Oh my God, a keyless entry system, why that practically makes it a Lexus! Not at all comparable to other small appliance cars that also take you from from urban point A to B with zero excitement and the bare minimum of driver involvement.

        The Prius is paying roughly 8 grand to save 500 bucks a year on gas, win the respect of hippies, and show the rest of the world you're a tool.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Finally! I can get rid of my gas guzzling MR2 convertible. I actually would be very concerned about the structure of the vehicle at this point.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think this is pretty cool. This guy had a dream for his car and made it a reality. Get yours Exproducer.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Who gives a Sh*T it's his car let the man live a little. SHEESH
      • 7 Years Ago
      this guy shoulda read up on the tesla....hed be poorer, but at least he wouldnt be stupid...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really like the Prius Convertible. I have the 2001 Prius (old style). You would be amazed at the acceleration. I have beat BMWs off the line (but then they caught up). The electric motor gives it a lot of low end torque. (My other car is a Porsche). Anyway, I have been thinking of how to pimp my Prius out, and this is a good idea, except a little expensive. I was thinking more of a sun roof. I also eliminated air lifts ($6K). So far I just put Moon Disks and tinted windows. I think in California we should customize all the cars we want to. And paint them eye-blinding orange too. Most cars are so boring... time for experiments.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would have just bought a Miata.
        • 7 Years Ago
        +1. Couldn't have said it any better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Y'know, if global warming is inevitable, they might as well give us some production hybrid convertibles to make life easier.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I drive an '08 Mini Cooper S. I get 27/36. Am I considered rich and environmental?

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