In the U.S., cars like the Camry tend to make Toyota seem boring. But there is another side to the company, the Toyota Motorsports Group (TMG), a division focused on making cars go fast. And this group just set a record lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife for an electric vehicle.
TMG built its EV P001 car especially for the record attempt. At just over 2,100 pounds, the EV P001 is heavy for a race car, but 770 pounds of that weight is a lithium ion ceramic battery pack, rated at 41.5 kilowatt hours. That power gives the EV P001 a top speed of 160 mph and a zero to 62 mph time of 3.9 seconds. The car's two electric motors deliver 375 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.
The time set by the car was 7 minutes 47.79 seconds on the 12.9-mile (20.8-kilometer) Nordschleife. That time compares favorably with the fastest current lap time from a gasoline-engined car of 6 minutes 48 seconds, set by the Radical SR8 LM, considering how few electric cars have made the attempt compared with combustion engine cars.
The video of the lap released by TMG shows not only expert wheel work by the driver, Jochen Krumbach, but reveals the relatively quiet turbine sound of the electric motors, coupled with tires skittering on asphalt.