We love it when readers e-mail us tips, but when we first saw the name Juiced Hybrid, we had to scratch our heads. It sounded vaguely...dirty.
In reality, it's an e-commerce site that offers all manner of Prius accessories, from appearance doll-ups (aero body kits, window deflectors) to interior components (floor mats, cargo liners) and even suspension, chassis, and mechanical upgrades. It's far from the only Prius-parts site on the web, and we'll cover more in the weeks to come.
The JuicedHybrid website is a little messy viewed through certain browsers, and the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid on the front clashed with our Prius sensibilities. We're also a little skeptical about some of the performance upgrades. A fuel atomizer? Nuh-uh, not us. And we wonder how many Honda Civic Hybrid owners would really install that nitrous-oxide kit.
But what really won our hearts--OK, we are Prius geeks here--was the electric-mode kit for 2004-2009 Priuses. The site offers a video on how to install it, though we were disappointed that it's just a collection of text and still photos with a voiceover. You may know that Toyota left the "EV-mode" switch off Priuses sold in the US, although they're included in cars for Europe and Asia. (It's known as "the cheating husband button" in Europe, we're told.) This lets owners force the car into electric running for its mile or so of EV range, at speeds below 34 mph. Ever resourceful, many vendors now offer kits to put it back.
Toyota itself obviously noticed the demand, because the all-new 2010 Toyota Prius offers an EV-Mode switch plus two other modes: Eco and Sport. Yes, even North Americans can soon learn the joys of all-electric travel from the factory. Meanwhile, the kit for current models has been marked down from $89 to $69.
Toyota Prius front-end mask