Toyota blows away electric race car record at Nurburgring

by Ernie Hernandez on August 30, 2011

Toyota EV Race Car

Photo copyright Toyota Motorsport GMBH

Who knew?

7:47.794. Porsche 911 GT3 RS – 7:47 in 2004.

Nissan GT-R – 7:24.22.

Clearly, this electric Toyota is an amazingly fast car – electric or otherwise. We simply had no idea that Toyota had this going on. But ya gotta admit – a motorsports arm of a Japanese manufacturer that is based in Germany is just a little under the radar even for folks like us. So lets take a look at what makes this baby fly.

Two electric motors delivering peak power of 280 kilowatts (375 horsepower – not a lot for this kind of a lap time) with 800 Newton meters of torque (590 Lb-Ft – more than enough) in a vehicle that weighs 970 kilograms (2,134 pounds). Certainly no lightweight by race car standards, but 41.5 kilowatt hours of battery accounts for 350 kilograms (770 pounds) of that. We’ll take a closer look at that last bit of info tomorrow.

So take the battery weight out of the car and you’ve got a reasonably lightweight platform. The chassis is a two seat sports car based on a modified Radical race car chassis. The car has a top speed of 260 kilometers per hour (162 mph) with a zero to 100 kph (62 mph) of 3.9 seconds. The car is clearly geared for top speed, not acceleration. It could be significantly quicker. We say this because the heavier (2,723 pound) Tesla Roadster gets to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds with “only” 295 lbs. of torque.

This is obviously a Nissan LEAF website, but we are EV and high performance enthusiasts as well. And anything that brings attention to the EV is a good thing. Here’s a look at the video of the seven minute lap (looks like they are starting out on cold tires. And they are street-legal tires, not race slicks):

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