Is it possible to 'rice out' a Hybrid?

Would it be possible to modify a hybrid for either drifting or the quarter mile? I am assuming that their combustion engine is generally less powerful than the engines of a quarter mile car.

Does anyone have any examples of hybrids being successfully turned into street-racing cars?

Side discussion, is ‘ricer’ a racist perjorative or is it merely descriptive of a type of modification generally performed on Japanese cars?

Slightly so, it is a bastardization of “racer” more so than a racial thing.


I thought it was all about adding flashy junk to make it look like a street racer.

The term “rice rocket” refers to small, generally inexpensive, japanese automobiles that have been customized to improve performance. A “ricer” was originally someone who customized and drove such vehicles. As the popularity of this sort of thing grew, it became common for people to emphasize the showy changes over functional ones (big exhaust pipes, silly-looking spoilers, and stickers for parts that might not even be installed), and the term became used pejoratively more often.

To the extent that “rice” is used to refer to “japanese”, the term is at least culturally insensitive. But, as commonly used, it has nothing to do with the race of the person involved, so it’s tough to say that it’s “racist.”

I’m sure you could make some mods to a hybrid that would improve its performance, but I don’t know if you’d get it to the point where it would be a competitive street racer.

I was looking into it and apparently the electric motor and the battery pack are considered dead weight for the purposes of racing. You can’t do much with the electric motor because they are too sophisticated for the average person.

The term is culturally insensitive? It’s funny how any sort of diminutive phrase that references ethnicity at all is deemed ‘insensitive’ or insulting.

I’ve thought about this, but not in the direction the OP is thinking. I drive a Civic Hybrid, and it’s a very nice, fuel efficient car. What I’d like to modify, however, is anything that would make it more fuel efficient. Lighter, more aerodynamic frame, thinner wheels, take out the passenger seats, all that silliness.

I mean, why buy a hybrid if you want to eventually turn the car into a street machine? You could get a stock Civic or Accord for a heck of a lot less than a hybrid of the same year, and I’m sure the parts would be cheaper and more available.

It could be done, but trust me that it would be both pointless, and for more money than you want to spend on this. Maybe a tuning shop would make a demo car or something to get press, but not for practical affordable purposes.

Drifting with any seriousness is almost certainly out of the question because AFAIK all hybrids are Front Wheel Drives. FWD cars don’t drift, they slide.

The quarter mile, I am not sure either. You can get better tires but I can’t see how you could eek out very much performance. The gasoline engine would be utter dead weight, from a stop the electric motor powers the car.

To actually see decent 1/4 mile times you would have to gut and modify it beyond recognition, so you might as well start from another platform. There wouldn’t be anything “hybrid” meaning electric+gasoline on the 1/4 mile if you were getting good times, it’d be one or the other systems being crippled/removed and the computer being re-written from scratch.

BTW Ricer is not someone who modifies cars in general. Ricer is like a dumb version of a car “enthusiast”, one who uses flashy but non-functional mods, or uses stupid modifications due to lack of proper understanding of tuning.

0-60 in 3.9 seconds, rear wheel drive, straight elecrtic, no gas.

What does a purpose built electric sports car have to do with tuning a current-gen hybrid?

Shows you what could be accomplished. Start by pulling the motor.

this, I use a Honda insight at work, the car is utter junk in every imaginable aspect of performance. (Edit and for all that junk it gets a blistering 32mpg)

rip out the engine and rear seats, through a real engine in the hatch/rear seat area to start with.

better suspension, tires, brakes, pretty much any part of the car that deals with engine or performance would have to get taken out and replaced. for the cost you could by a new bmw.

This may be drifting off topic, but it seems to my know-almost-nothing-about-auto-racing mind that for 1/4 mile, starting from scratch, electric might be preferable to internal combustion. Massive torque from a standstill and happy to keep providing torque as the speed goes up, and with separate motors on each wheel you could theoretically rig up some kind of anti-lock brake derivative to independently throttle each wheel to just below spin-out point. And over 1/4 mile, you won’t need too much weight in batteries.

But I assume I’m missing something important. Enlighten me.