Matthew BeedhamEditor, SHIFT by TNW
Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.
Even though electric cars are only just becoming a common sight on our roads, they’ve been dominating race tracks for over a decade.
If you need proof, watch the video of this Toyota Motorsport Group modified, street-legal, electric Radical, destroy the Nürburgring in under eight minutes — 7 minutes 47 seconds to be precise.
The most mind boggling part of this, is that it did it way back in 2011 (that’s 10 years ago!), and was the first EV to go under the eight-minute mark on the German course.
Sure, it’s street-legal, but it’s not exactly a family saloon. It’s a light, agile, and purposeful track-oriented vehicle, so a lightning quick lap time was to be expected.
To post the record-breaking time, Toyota Motorsports took a lightweight chassis from a Radical racer, dropped in two EVO Electric motors, and a 41.5 kWh lithium-ceramic battery pack.
This gave the electric racecar 380 hp, and given that it weighs less than 1,000 kg, it is no slouch.
But to put this in some kind of perspective, a specialist Mini-e, with uprated suspension, brakes, tires, and roll cage, was the first EV to post a sub-10 minute time around the 20.8 km Nürburgring. It completed the course in 9 minutes 52 seconds.
While the MINI wasn’t totally standard, it was a lot closer to being a normal car than the TMG P001.
Before the TMG EV P001 set its 7m47 lap time, the fastest time for an EV around Nordschleife was held by the Peugeot EX1 concept car — that’ definitely not road legal.
What’s more, it set a time of 9 minutes 1 second. The TMG P001 absolutely destroyed it.
The TMG was so fast, and so ahead of its time, that it’s still one of the fastest EVs to ever complete the Nürburgring today.
According to AutoCar, only the Nio EP9 and the purpose built VW I.D. R, have gone faster — those posted times of 6 minutes 45 seconds, and 6 minutes 5 seconds respectively.
And well, both of those cars are insane pieces of equipment — definitely not consumer grade.
The progress that’s been made in electric racers over the past 10 years is really staggering — but man alive! I didn’t realize EVs were pwning the Nürburgring a decade ago. Respect to Toyota.
Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up?
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