Electric-powered cars have only recently begun lapping Germany’s Nürburgring Norschleife and even then it was more to prove that their ability to lap the 20.8 km Green-Hell on a single charge. That was certainly the aim of the MINI E in April 2010 when it scorched around the lap in a record-breaking 9 minutes 51.45 seconds. No, we didn’t think that was terribly quick either, but at least it made it back to the pits before running out of charge. Ha ha!
Twelve months later, Peugeot stole the headlines with its futuristic looking EX1 Concept, which demolished the humble MINI E setting a new record time of 9 minutes 1.338 seconds. We still sniggered a bit, because despite the EX1’s race car looks, Renault’s conventionally powered Megane Trophy hatchback proved recently that it could lap some 54 seconds faster than Peugeot’s trumped-up milk float..
Well, the laughing just stopped.
Although whether it’s entirely fair to compare a pukka-racecar with conventional road cars is a moot point, but we’re no longer talking about getting round on a single charge, neither do we feel inclined to dig out any more dairy-product jokes..
Toyota’s TMG EV P001, with an 100% electric powertrain and Jochen Krumbach at the wheel, has just set a new lap record of 7 minutes 47.794 seconds – that’s quicker than a 380 bhp Porsche 911 Carerra S.
Prior to the 29 August record run, TMG’s ambition had been to become the first electric vehicle to break the eight-minute barrier and this was achieved comfortably on a day when the notoriously changeable Nürburgring weather stayed fine, although track temperatures were relatively low.
Using two electric motors, the TMG electric powertrain has a top speed of 163 mph, which combined with 800Nm of torque enabled the TMG EV P001 to achieve impressive speeds on the challenging Nordschleife track.
The TMG EV P001 is based on a Radical chassis which was then modified by TMG and the new lap record was completed on road-legal tyres, using the complete Nordschleife track. Lap times were verified by independent observers.
Pascal Vasselon, TMG’s Technical Director, said: “The goals for this project were twofold: obviously we wanted to set a new EV lap record and I am very pleased we could achieve that so comprehensively. On the other hand, we also wanted to learn more about the operation of our electric powertrain in extreme circumstances; in motorsport there is no more extreme circuit than the Nürburgring.
On the record lap the TMG EV P001 performed better than in testing due to the improvement we already could make based on that experience. We have enhanced our electric powertrain development thanks to the information our engineers have gained and our future EV products will benefit from this project.”
Nice, now all they need to do is add the sound of a high-revving V8 and enthusiasts will be queueing up to buy one.