By on September 1, 2011

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.

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20 Comments on “Toyota Sets Nordschleife Record Running On Batteries...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    To quote James May, “We need to bomb the Nurburgring.” That damned place is starting to become an automotive cliche.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex French

      James May was bothered because manufacturers were putting standard non-performance-oriented cars on the ring, and ruining them with harsh rides and race car engine tuning. This thing is pure performance though, and this is where it belongs.

      [edit] No argument with it being an automotive cliche… I just think don’t think it’s a problem here.

  • avatar
    Alex French

    Love this video. The road and wind sounds are so prominent; it’s like nothing else.

    I’d like to see some ideas for handling pit stops with electric cars. Swap batteries, tires… Hell, I bet you could even plop in a fresh motor in seconds.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike1972

      To me, the car sounded like the plane dropping the bomb at the end of In the Flesh? from Pink Floyd’s The Wall while it was decelerating after nearing it’s top speed. I know, it’s an odd observation.

      Great video and a great accomplishment.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Congratulations to both the driver and to Toyota!!

    Once the tech is reliabily and affordably there, drivers and afficinados will drop IC propulsion like a hot potato(e) or like they did with steam.

  • avatar

    Yawn… wake me up when it can do 50 laps.

    • 0 avatar
      protomech

      Trolling is unworthy of you, Chuck.

      Gas racers typically do < 10 laps per pit stop on the 24 hour endurance race. Batteries are much lower specific energy than gas – though they are improving rapidly, they may never be suitable for single-charge endurance racing. And that's okay. Battery swaps and fast-charging may be feasible; clearly the intent is that racing has a future that extends well beyond our supply of oil.

      For purposes of providing a transportation alternative to ICE, batteries don't have to offer range parity. They just need to offer enough range to make consumer's lives better in aggregate.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      You may be waking up sooner than you think:

      http://news.discovery.com/autos/electric-car-battery-goo-110608.html

  • avatar
    ...m...

    …the radical drove from peterborough to nürburg, set its lap time, and then turned around and drove back again: say what you will about low-volume production cars, but that deserves a hell of a lot more respect than ninety percent of the high-volume “production” cars set-up and trailered-in to set their their own records…

  • avatar
    niky

    I think the impressive thing here is that it set that lap on street-legal rubber. Of course, it’s still a minute behind the V8 Radical’s time, which shows there’s a long way to go… in an ultra-light car like the Radical, every extra kilogram of battery pack really hurts acceleration and lap times.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    No, not the torque thing again! It’s torque at the wheels that matters, and that depends on horsepower once it’s above parking lot speeds.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    rpn Hate to be the one to tell you this, but horsepower doesn’t really exist. It is only a calculation.
    horsepower is force (torque) times speed (rpm) divided by a constant (units). Sorry, but force and speed really exist and can be measured. Horsepower not so much.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I can see why you’d hate to be the one to tell me that, since you’re wrong. Power does exist. It is the rate at which work is performed, and it is a more important value than torque in this context.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Hate to be the one to tell you this, but horsepower doesn’t really exist.

      Let me guess — you read that tidbit of misinformation on a diesel forum.

      • 0 avatar
        Juniper

        guess all you want but I learned it in engr school and with many years in the engine industry. How about you?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        How about you?

        I paid attention in school. (Sometimes, I wonder why I bothered.)

        Power measures a machine’s ability to do work. Horsepower is the term used to describe the power output of engines.

        Just because horsepower is the product of torque and RPM does not mean that horsepower doesn’t exist. Torque and horsepower are interrelated; as noted by Niky below, the torque number in a vacuum doesn’t tell us much.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I don’t even know what engr school is.

    I’m just saying is that a peak torque value by itself doesn’t tell you much about how fast a car is. 800 N-m (590 ft-lb) is a huge torque number for the engine of a small race car. So why is the car so (relatively) slow, both in lap time and top speed? We need more information to accompany this torque figure because if it’s only available at 0 rpm, it’s irrelevant except during a grid start.

    Nothing against this car or electric cars in general. This one looks like fun, and is much faster than something I would be comfortable piloting around the ‘Ring. I’d just like to hear specs that are more useful when it comes electric motors.

  • avatar
    niky

    You’d think an engineering school worth its salt would teach students the difference between 800 Nm of torque at 1000 rpm and 800 Nm of torque at 6000 rpm.

    The former is a tractor motor, the latter is super-car worthy.

    Oh, if only there were a way for us to relate how that torque is converted to forward thrust… donkey power?

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Pch I think we really agree. Power is a calculation. To get back to the original comment. Torque at the wheels can be measured or calculated without knowing power. Yes, I too paid attention in school. No need to be disrespectful.


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