Toyota Prius Plug-in uses electric range to set new MPG record at the Nürburgring

Toyota Prius Plug-in uses electric range to set new MPG record at the Nürburgring


In a real world test designed to demonstrate the Toyota Prius Plug-in’s fuel economy, the plug-in hybrid accomplished a record-winning 698mpg lap of the infamous Nordschliefe.

For years car manufacturers have taken their vehicles to the Nürburgring to exercise new models and attempt to break records. These records, until now, have always been centered on speed. Toyota has broken tradition and set a first-of-a-kind record for the least amount of fuel used on a single lap of the circuit.

The feat was achieved in a Toyota Prius Plug-in under real-world conditions and abiding by the circuit rules. This meant competing with traffic during a public session and keeping to the 60km/h minimum average speed.

In dry, breezy conditions, the Prius Plug-in recorded 698mpg, going round in 20 minutes and 59 seconds. This outperforms the car’s official combined cycle figure of 134mpg; in fact the Toyota used less than five tablespoons of fuel during the process.

In theory, the Prius Plug-in could complete the 12.9 mile long lap using solely electric power, as the distance and speed requirements fall within what Toyota quotes for the vehicles EV range. The idea behind a plug-in hybrid is to run as an electric car day-to-day, meeting the demands of urban commuters, whilst avoiding expensive petrol costs and then use the 1.8-litre petrol engine to facilitate longer journeys.

The lithium-ion battery’s energy density means the car can be driven further and at higher speeds on electric power alone than the standard Prius.

Motoring journalist and Japanese car expert Joe Clifford, who drove the lap, said: “We used no special tricks for this test. We simply took a fully charged car, fitted it with low rolling resistance tyres and drove the lap, among all the other public drivers taking the opportunity to experience the challenge of the Nürburgring.

“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.”