Electric Toyota beats Ferrari 458 Italia at the Nurburgring
It seems Toyota has shunned electric car technology - unless it is the kind that is faster than a Nissan GT-R, Ferrari 458 Italia and Lamborghini Gallardo.
An incredible lightweight Toyota electric single-seater has taken on the daunting Nurburgring and in the process smashed the record time for an electric car.
The 469hp TMG EV P002 racer recorded a time of seven minutes and 22 seconds to finish ahead of supercar royalty around the challenging 13-mile track.
The feat is even more incredible because driver Jochen Krumback was driving with the sun in his eyes for much of the lap, but he still managed to beat his previous best in the same car by over 20 seconds.
It also finished ahead of a Nissan GT-R, the lightweight Nissan supercar that recorded a time of seven minutes and 29 seconds in 2008.
Other cars to get round the track slower than the Toyota include the Ferrari 458 Italia (seven minutes 33 seconds), various Porsche 911s and a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera.
Watch the video on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK4bBOSOZIY
With a top speed of 161mph from the 42kWh battery, the Toyota EV P002 is a ground-hugging racer which will never be seen on UK roads.
Its compact dimensions and lightweight build materials have helped the car record spectacular times on the track, which is seen as one of the most difficult in the world and was once described as 'Green Hell' by ex-racing driver Jackie Stewart because of the greenery lining the track.
Toyota recently announced it was postponing plans to launch any electric cars in the UK amid concerns over battery technology and customer interest in the cars.
The Japanese manufacturer, famous for the success of the Toyota Prius hybrid car, has decided to scrap ideas for an electric city car in the near future.
However, it is still demonstrating its green technology in the EVP002 racer and will continue to sell the likes of the Toyota Prius plug-in, which can run on electric energy alone but houses a petrol engine as well to create a hybrid powertrain.
The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid comes with impressive performance figures itself when it comes to running costs - it emits just 49g/km of CO2 and qualifies for free UK road tax. It also delivers 128.4mpg - the highest out of any hybrid model currently on sale.
Written by Stephen Hurrell.