Earlier this month, we reported that Toyota Motorsport Group GmbH (TMG) announced that it would attempt to set a new absolute lap record for electric-powered vehicles around the daunting 12.93-mile Nurburgring Nordschleife racing circuit. This week, the organization came though with flying colors, as Jochen Krumbach piloted the TMG EV P001 racer to a seven-minute 47.794-second best time, shattering the existing nine-minute 1.338 second mark that had been established this spring by the Peugeot EX1 Concept car.
Power for the TMG EV P001 comes from a pair of electric motors capable of developing a collective 590 pound-feet of torque and allowing the car to hit a top speed of 162 mph. The attempt was made under cool, dry track conditions and the car was shod with street-legal tires. In commenting on the feat, Pascal Vasselon, TMG's Technical Director, noted: "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."
Beyond stealing this moment of zero-emission limelight, TMG hopes to see the accomplishment generate sufficient interest to give rise to a new single-make EV racing class. It plans to continue development in the electric arena and start marketing TMG-designed advanced, performance-oriented powertrain technology on a commercial basis starting next year.