The Nurburgring has long served as the ultimate venue for evaluating traditional high-performance vehicles by the amount of time each requires to lap its legendary 12.9-mile Norschliefe circuit. Toyota recently took a different approach, and used a Euro-spec Prius Plug-in Hybrid to run the distance not for minimum time but for maximum fuel economy. Although fitted with an aero-enhancing TRD appearance package, TRD suspension bits, bespoke low-rolling resistance tires and 18-inch lightweight alloy wheels, the Prius Plug-in was mechanically unchanged. When the final numbers were crunched, the car delivered a stellar 698-mpg record mark against its 134 mpg Euro rating and 95 MPGe U.S. mark.
Given its nominal 15-mile EV range, Toyota had hoped the Prius Plug-in would complete its entire lap of the 'Ring on EV power alone and see the car's econo-meter max out at 999.9 mpg. However, the combination of the "Green Hell's" undulating terrain - which accounted for about a 1,000-foot elevation change - and the requirement to maintain a minimum 37 mph speed forced the car's 1.8-liter engine to kick in for a short period on one extended uphill run spoiling the otherwise perfect outing.
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