Toyota Prius Getting Optional Speaker System for Under the Hood in Japan

Apparently, there were one too many complaints about how quiet the Prius is, over in Japan. Citing the safety of pedestrians, it looks like Toyota is getting ready to implement a new speaker system that they will install under the front hood, which will project a sound loud enough to mimic that of a "normal" car's engine, and therefore letting folks know that the sneaky vehicle is approaching behind them.

The noise system will make a noise loud enough for pedestrians to hear, but one that's comparable to a standard engine, so that it's not the most annoying thing on the road. However, what's interesting about it, is that Toyota is apparently making the extra feature optional. That's right. Purchasers of the third generation Toyota Prius will be able to option in for the noise maker.

The buyer will have to fork over an additional 12,600 yen, which is about $150 around these parts, to get the parts installed. But, that's a small price to pay to make sure that the people around you, who may just be taking a lovely day-time stroll, are safe, right? The picture above does a pretty good job of showcasing the idea. There's no word from Toyota when, or of, this sound system will see international markets, but it will begin going on sale in Japan on August 30th.

[via PhysOrg]