apr first brought the Prius to Super GT in 2012 and continued to run the car with several hybrid systems since then, most recently with a supercapacitor.
After some initial reliability issues, apr successfully turned the car into a regular championship candidate, finishing second in the standings twice over the last four years.
However, with the central engine layout of the Prius banned for 2019, the team was forced to design a brand new car to remain in the category.
The new Prius generation, which complies with the front engine layout requirement, was first seen at Fuji Speedway in December and was officially announced on Friday.
The car will run on a 5.4 liter V8 Lexus RC F GT3 engine, coupled to the same supercapacitor used in the previous generation Prius.
The new engine replaces the old 3.4-liter V8 engine that was derived from the old Toyota Super Formula cars and the Lexus GT500.
As far as driver training is concerned, Yuki Nakayama will leave Team UpGarage to join the Koki Saga in the Bridgestone Prius # 31.
Hiroaki Nagai will continue to drive the number 31 car, which will run on Yokohama tires and will be placed next to Manabu Orido.
The announcement means that Kohei Hirate will leave apr Racing after just one season, giving credence to reports that he should join the team of the Nissan GT500.
# 31 Toyota Prius GT: Koki Saga, Kohei Hirate
Photo by: Masahide Kamio
Expanded field of the Honda GT300
Honda will have a bigger presence in the GT300 class this year, with three teams putting the NSX GT3s on the grid.
Team UpGarage and ARTA will switch to Honda, joining Drago Corse. There is no confirmation whether CarGuy Racing will remain in the category, with an official press release stating that its "continued participation is being considered."
Regarding the drivers, Takashi Kobayashi will stay with UpGarage and join Kosuuke Matsuura, who returns to GT300 for the first time since 2012.
The F2 Nirei Fukuzumi rider will make his Super GT debut with ARTA, joining veteran rider and team boss Shinichi Takagi, while Drago Corse will do an unchanged alignment of former GT500 champion Ryo Michigami and Hiroki Otsu.
Elsewhere, Leon Racing confirmed that they will continue to race Haruki Kurosawa and Naoya Gamou for the fifth consecutive season after last year's championship success at the wheel of a Mercedes AMG GT3.
Cars The Tokai Dream28, which runs a Lotus Evora MC, also decided to keep Kazuho Takahashi and Hiroki Katoh. The two drivers have been competing for the squad since 2006.
Several teams have also revealed librés for the upcoming season, including the Mercedes GoodSmile Racing team with the Ukyo team, which runs the colors of vocaloid and anime star Hatsune Miku.
# 4 Race goods with the team Ukyo Mercedes AMG GT3
Photo by: Motorsport.com / Japan