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Toyota EV racer smashes Nurburgring record

’Ring the changes: Far from delivering the dull driving experience many fear, electric race cars like the TMG EV P002 are a showcase of speed at the Nurburgring and Pikes Peak.

New electric Nurburgring lap record sweetens Pikes Peak win for TMG’s EV P002

3 Oct 2012

TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) has broken another electric vehicle record with its EV P002 racer by setting a lap time of seven minutes and 22.329 seconds at the famed Nurburgring Nordschleife track in Germany.

German ’Ring master Jochen Krumbach piloted the EV P002 to shave more than 25 seconds off the record he set last August with the road-legal EV P001, which was the first electric car to break the eight minute barrier.

Deploying twin electric motors producing a combined 350kW of power and 900Nm of torque the EV P002 packs a 70kW and 100Nm boost over its predecessor, although the P001 could achieve a 20km/h higher top speed of 260km/h.

In addition to producing more power and torque, the P002’s drivetrain is able to deliver its outputs more consistently over longer distances due to the improved management of battery, motor and inverter temperatures.

With help from Schneider Electric, TMG has developed a mobile DC quick charger for the P002 for use in remote areas like Pikes Peak and the Nurburgring, where there is no EV charging infrastructure.

The charger consists of a 42kWh, 400-volt lithium-ion battery mounted in a Toyota HiAce van that can be driven away for overnight charging from the standard power grid.

 center imageLeft: Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution racer.

As the P002’s lithium-ceramic battery pack also has a 42kWh capacity, the mobile charger is single-use only, but TMG electrics and electronics general manager Ludwig Zeller described the setup as a “major step forward for electric motorsport”.

“Together with our partners at Schneider Electric, we have developed a solution to charge a race car literally anywhere in the world,” he said.

“This is an aspect of electric motorsport which has not been discussed at length but it is very significant electric race cars need to be charged and it is a challenge to have the right infrastructure at race tracks, particularly temporary street circuits.”

The P002 hit the Nurburgring fresh from setting an EV record at the Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado, where Japanese rally driver Fumio Nutahara smashed the previous record by more than two minutes with a time of 10 minutes and 15.380 seconds – taking sixth place overall.

Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV Evolution racer was piloted by two-time Dakar Rally winner Hiroshi Masuoka to second position in the EV class at Pikes Peak with a time of 10 minutes and 30.850 seconds.

Off-road racer Beccy Gordon’s modified but street-legal i-MiEV – which will take a bow at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney later this month – came sixth in the EV class with a time of 15 minutes and 10.557 seconds.

The P002’s Nurburgring lap time was almost identical to that set by Ford’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost powered road-legal Formula Ford racer last month.

Both the Ford and the TMG beat the times of automotive exotica likes the Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari Enzo and Pagani Zonda.

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