2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in completes Nurburgring using 5 tablespoons of gas
If you are not a motorsports fan you may not have heard of the Nürburgring. It is a private German toll road that has also been the track on which many famous races have been run. It has a cool sounding name and the track has no real speed limit, so automakers have adopted it as the de facto track standard. Car makers take things like GTRs, Vipers, and Corvettes there to embarrass more expensive supercars with their track times. This week Toyota took the Prius Plug-in Hybrid to the track and is very proud to say that it beat every single one of those cars.
Why Did Toyota Take the Prius To A Racetrack-Road?
Toyota’s goal was publicity. It wanted to show that the Prius Plug-in could run the track using only a smidge of gasoline. This is a little weird because cars like a Tesla Model S can run the ‘Ring with no gasoline and put up really respectable track times. Nonetheless, Toyota took its very affordable, very green Prius to the track to see how much gas it would need to complete the course.
Did Toyota Cheat?
Toyota started with the Prius’ battery fully charged. It then completed the 12.9 mile course while it was open to the public and followed all the track rules. Toyota then measured very accurately how much liquid fuel was consumed. 5 tablespoons was the result. Interestingly the car didn’t run out of charge, but rather, the elevation changes were the reason the car used any gas at all. Driver, Joe Clifford explained, saying “Although the 12.9-mile distance is similar to a typical commuter trip, the difference here is a rise and fall in elevation of around 1,000 feet. In fact it was only on one long climb that the petrol engine cut in, and then only for a short while. Without that, we think we might have even achieved the ultimate 999.9mpg read-out – the highest figure the display can show.”
Prius Plug-in Number Two Selling EV in the US
Toyota’s Plug-in Prius has earned a comfortable second place in the current year-to-date sales race for electric vehicles in the US market behind the Nissan Leaf. It is improving its standing having passed the Tesla Model S and Chevy Volt in the sales race this year after being behind those cars last year.