Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG), Toyota’s Cologne-based high-speed division, has set a new Nordschleife record for an electric vehicle. The TMG EV P001, equipped with two electric motors and 800Nm of torque, did the Nordschleife in 7 mins 47.794 secs, outdistancing the Peugeot EX1 EV’s which did the circuit in 9 mins 1.338 secs.
The Peugeot was as fast as a Volkswagen Lupo GTI. Toyota’s battery-operated racer is breathing down the necks of current Schleifen-champs. According to the fountain of wisdom, the record for a production vehicle stands at 6 minutes 48 seconds for a Radical SR8 LM (production car, sure). In the non road-legal department, the Pagani Zonda leads with 6:47.50. The Radical did the 20,600 m course, the Pagani and the Toyota did the full 20,800 meters. The TMG EV P001 could even be a cousin of the Radical. In its 2010 annual report, TMG said that it had built an electric race car based on the Radical. That one had a top speed of 230 km/h, the TMG EV P001 goes 260 km/h.
Old racer’s adage: It doesn’t matter how fast you go, what matters is how fast you get around the circuit. Acceleration is more important than flat-out top speed on that circuit. Torque is where an EV excels. And with a little tweaking, an electric car can leave the gasoline-powered ones in a cloud of – nothing.