When we got the news that Toyota had set a record on the Nürburgring with a Prius Plug-In Hybrid, we almost fell out of our collective chairs. At first, we thought the automaker had set the slowest lap-time at the famed racetrack, but it occured to us that such an achievement would hardly be worthy of such fanfare - it had to be something else. And it was. According to reports, Toyota set a fuel efficiency lap record in the Prius Plug-In with a lap average of 698 MPG.
The Prius model used for this attempt didn't feature any aerodynamic tweaks or body modifications. It was your standard Prius Plug-In with a fully charged battery. The lap itself saw the Prius travel at an average speed of 40mph, completing the lap in 20 minutes and 59 seconds. Toyota says the model only used less than five tablespoons of fuel.
"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," said Joe Clifford, the driver for this attempt.
"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."