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Why drive a boring old hybrid when you could have an Erotic Vehicle?

There’s a lot to be said for hybrid vehicles: they’re kinder to the environment; they’re cheap to run; they provide instant torque. But there’s no shaking the fact that, in many people’s minds, they’re often associated with those wealthy “I’m doing my bit for the environment, why aren’t you?” types like South Park‘s Gerald Broflovsky.

▼ “Thaaaaanks!”

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And even if you’re not neighbours with one such enviro-poser, the truth is the Toyota Prius, one of the most popular brands of hybrid on the market, is hardly the best-looking car on the road. Even in its homeland of conservative Japan where millions of the cars have been sold, the general feeling is that the Prius is a rather staid choice of vehicle.

But Toyota Japan is trying to change all that with its new model Prius and an accompanying series of ads. Starring musician, actor and heartthrob Masaharu Fukuyama alongside TV personality Yo Oizumi, the ads show the pair cruising around town while car owner Fukuyama remarks upon the new Prius’ surprisingly “eroi” nature, much to Oizumi’s annoyance as he attempts to explain the vehicle’s more intricate details.

Check them out:

Quite why Oizumi is playing the role of a well-informed dog in the ads is anyone’s guess, but that’s likely to be the last question on viewers’ lips. Rather, it’s Toyota’s decision to pitch its new car as “eroi“—which it uses to mean “sexy”, but is more often translated as “erotic” or even “dirty” in a sexual sense—that will raise a few eyebrows.

▼ “Sorry, I wasn’t listening.” Fukuyama is clearly overcome by the Prius’ sensual body.

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 “Man, this Prius really is quite eroi…”

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Eroi isn’t a term you’d normally expect to hear used on daytime television in Japan, but Toyota’s latest ads, and indeed the success of its latest model, hinge upon it. The term “sexy”— or rather “sekushii” as it’s pronounced—has been used by Japanese people for decades, so the advertiser’s choice of wording here is unusual. Perhaps they felt that they’d be better off courting a slightly more mature demographic and felt that plain old “sexy” didn’t quite do it? Who knows; whatever their thinking, they’ve certainly got a few tongues wagging online.

What do you think, Rocketeers? Does the new model Prius make you think of naughty, sexy times? Or is it still something you’d expect your mother to drive to her weekly zumba class?

Source: Asahi Digital, h/t GoldenTimes
Screenshots: YouTube/ImpressWatch 1, 2