Driving Toyota s Insane 600-horsepower TMG EV P002 Electric Pikes Peak Racer video
Over 12 miles the street up Pikes Peak winds by means of 156 turns, climbing almost 5,000 toes to terminate at an altitude of 14,110 -- 4,000 feet higher than the FAA requires to flip in your private electronic units in a industrial aircraft. On a standard day, folks with RVs and SUVs lumber their struggling machines up to the top, engines gasping for air, and then gently thread their way again right down to the underside, brakes smoking and suffering. But, on one special day a yr, a circus of hooligans with high-powered vehicles, bikes and varied different motorized contraptions claim the mountain pass as their own. The Pikes Peak Worldwide Hill Climb has run since 1916 in some kind or another, but currently the tone of the competitors has been changing. Fairly actually. Electric-powered automobiles at the moment are whizzing up the mountain in droves and, more and more, they're challenging their fuel-powered rivals. Indeed, the quickest motorcycle up the course this yr was electric, and the automobiles are getting quicker. How briskly? How about extra energy than a Ferrari 458 and practically three times the torque in a package that weighs 1,000 pounds much less? That is what Toyota's TMG EV P002 puts down in Pikes Peak trim, 600 horsepower and 900 ft-lbs of torque. It's a ridiculously overpowered little machine, and Toyota was variety enough to let me drive it. The test drive would take place at Pikes Peak International Raceway, a 1-mile oval monitor that is had a road course lower by way of the middle. Situated just south of Colorado Springs, http://sc.sie.gov.hk/TuniS/issuu.com/safelock it is here that a lot of the top groups tackling the mountain arrange store for the week main up to the race. As we drove up to Toyota's pit stall, the day after the race, the previous couple of teams had been packing as much as go. Triumphant Peugeot, whose file-breaking automobile was the fastest of the day by the hands of World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb, was loading up its last transporter. Meanwhile, at the other finish of each the parking lot and the spectrum of success, lay what remained of the PP01 EV from the Latvian eO group. During its run, the car spun off the monitor, slamming into a boulder and flipping over, injuring (but thankfully not significantly) driver Janis Horeliks. After which in a single storage, looking impossibly small and rather tidier than eO's entry, sat Toyota's EV P002. Both its front nose and tail had been eliminated to facilitate cleaning out all the filth that had accumulated from the previous day's run. Despite its small size, it was encumbered with considerable aerodynamic appendages entrance and rear, grafted on after this very automotive broke the EV Nurburgring observe record final year. While many joke that massive wings on a avenue automobile sign their drivers are compensating for something, the big wings listed here are additionally compensating: for diminished air pressure. Because of the skinny air toward the highest of the mountain, and due to the ridiculously twisty nature of the course, Pikes Peak automobiles tend to have massive wings on both front and back. That strain also wreaks havoc on the output of traditional inner combustion engines, which suck in a mix of gasoline and air, squeeze the ensuing mixture and then gentle it on fireplace (bang) to make energy before blowing the resulting pollution out the exhaust. Less air means much less oxygen, which means much less energy -- as much as 40 p.c less at the top. Turbos and superchargers might help, however the only real answer is a powertrain of a wholly different kind. Electric automobiles generate the same quantity of energy from the underside of the course to the highest, and in the case of this Toyota, that's a variety of energy. Electric vehicles generate the same quantity of power from the underside of the course to the top, and in the case of this Toyota, that's plenty of power. Again we're looking at roughly 600 horsepower and 900 foot-pounds of torque and, since it's an EV, it is all accessible basically anywhere in the powerband. There's also no shifting, the excessive-RPM motor spins quick enough to take the car from zero all the way as much as the 140MPH that the P002's current gearing allows. The EV P002, at its core, is a Radical SR8, a small, $160,000 open-cockpit and typically gasoline-powered racecar that's surprisingly street authorized. That chassis has been heavily modified for electric duties, one electric motor for every of the rear wheels and, after all, a battery. Since that report-breaking Nurburgring run, Toyota engineers moved the driver's seat to a central place and made dozens of other modifications to get it ready for the hill, all on short discover. The most important piece of the puzzle, nevertheless, is the one who will sit in that seat. And for that, Toyota turned to a man with whom they have plenty of expertise at the Peak: Rod Millen. He piloted the ridiculously powerful Toyota Celica and Tacoma racers within the '90s and held the document to the top of the mountain for an unimaginable thirteen years. That is why many name him the King of the Mountain. Although I most definitely lack the skill and expertise of Mr. Millen, Toyota nonetheless noticed fit to let me take a couple of laps with the automobile earlier than it was packed up and shipped off to a hillclimb of a very different type and speed: the largely ceremonial Goodwood Festival of Velocity. Beneath the watchful eye of Steve Wickham, vice president of chassis operations at Toyota Racing Development USA and a man with loads of experience in Toyota's numerous motorsports pursuits, I clambered over and by means of the cockpit jungle gym and cinched the six-level harness tight. I too can be driving a bit slower than I would like, however for different causes. Wickham and varied other Toyota personnel reminded me at every alternative that this is the one such automotive that exists, which did weigh on my mind to a point. Moreover, the highest velocity had been limited to an unlucky 100MPH. That left me limping down the front straight, however offered greater than enough speed to get a feel for issues within the infield. A twitch of the ankle is enough to open your eyes broad, because of G-forces alone. My first impression was shock on the stiffness of the car and the lack of physique roll, something necessitated by the modern Pikes Peak course being absolutely paved and easy. I used to be additionally stunned by the torque. I shouldn't have been, what with the 900-foot-pound figure being bandied round, however listening to a number that ridiculous and having that much power connected to your proper foot are two very various things. A twitch of the ankle is enough to open your eyes wide, because of G-forces alone, with only the whine of the transmission and the rising wind noise providing you with some thought of your present velocity. Braking was reasonably much less spectacular in my restricted drive, largely because of the character of full carbon brakes. Brake pads and rotors product of compressed carbon supply superb performance when sizzling, however once they're cold, you are left with an incredibly agency, however reasonably ineffective left pedal. That is precisely what I had for my unfortunately temporary time behind the steering wheel. It was, for the report, a fairly warm day in Colorado (about 80 levels F), however the working temperature of carbon brakes is up nearer to 1,000 levels F, and holding them there requires high speeds and a heavy left foot. Speaking of the wheel, its heart is 3D-printed and lined with knobs to adjust varied engine and traction parameters, knobs I used to be told to not fiddle with. Nonetheless, I was advised to press the yellow button on the lower-proper section when pulling into the pits. That is a noisemaker, triggering an obnoxious siren loud enough to meet the Pikes Peak laws for EVs, requiring some type of noise to alert the spectators. Toyota's makes a very annoying sound, but Wickham told me it was the lightest siren they could find. Cornering G-forces are actually less punishing than I might anticipated as effectively. The automobile was still on its effectively-worn rain tires that had run up the mountain the day earlier than, which was one strike towards it. Additionally, it was still arrange with a really predictable, but somewhat frustrating understeer-heavy suspension configuration. This makes the automotive safe on the climb, with little probability of it spinning around and backing into a boulder, but on this little highway oval, it pushed through every corner, bits of rubber getting ripped off the front tires and arcing by means of the air. After which, after only a few moments of high-torque enjoyable, my laps had been over and i needed to return to the pits, siren wailing, in order that the Toyota engineers might strip the car and pack it into its delivery crate for the long journey throughout the Atlantic to Goodwood. After that, it's unclear what the future holds for the P002. One other run on the Nurburgring report looks as if a lock, but whether it comes back to challenge the mountain again in 2014 stays to be seen. The title of fastest EV would not come low-cost as of late, with a number of manufacturers putting together full-factory efforts, however this seems like an enormous opportunity for a company to ascertain itself because the leader on this nascent motorsport. Toyota established the Prius model because the de facto alternative for these on the lookout for a hybrid they could live with simply by being the primary to offer a practical choice. Sadly, the corporate has already been crushed by Nissan, Mitsubishi, Tesla and extra on the EV entrance, so if it wants to establish itself as a market chief, it may need to do something totally different. Defining itself as the pressure in electric motorsports would certainly be an attention-grabbing option to do it. Looking again at Toyota's utter dominance on the mountain by way of the '90s, achieving the identical now with an EV appears eminently potential. Celica picture credit: MillenWorks. All products recommended by Engadget are chosen by our editorial group, independent of our parent firm. A few of our stories embrace affiliate hyperlinks. If you purchase something by way of one of these hyperlinks, we might earn an affiliate commission.