SEMA Battle of the Builders: Ting Turns Hybrid Into Performance Machine

By Juan Torres

Gordon Ting turned his first Toyota build—a ’16 Prius—into a performance car that was named to the 2016 SEMA Battle of the Builders Top 10.

Gordon Ting has specialized in race-inspired builds during the 18 years he has modified cars, and with his most recent project, he decided to push the envelope a bit. Ting took on a ’16 Prius—his first Toyota build—and entered it into the 2016 SEMA Battle of the Builders competition to show that a hybrid vehicle could be a performance machine.

The build, which took two months to complete, was inspired by the Japanese Prius GT300 racing in the Okayama International Circuit, but because manufacturers traditionally don’t make performance parts for the Prius, some aftermarket parts had to be modified, especially for the suspension and brakes. Before the SEMA Show, the Prius pulled .97 in lateral Gs on the skid pad during testing, putting it in the neighborhood of Porsches, Vipers and Corvettes.

Ting was humbled to be named into the Top 10. “Being next to some of these awesome builders, it doesn’t feel right,” he said. However, he was very proud of what he accomplished. “It’s purpose-built. It can do what it looks like it was built to do. We did what we said we could do in a short amount of time.”

Behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and stories of the 2016 Battle of the Builders competition will be showcased in an hour-long TV special that will air February 6, 2017, on the Velocity Network. Mark your calendars, set your DVRs, and tell your friends not to miss the show. 

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