Just when you thought it had turned the corner and was serious about being an exciting brand again, Toyota has reverted back to its boring old ways. Incredibly, it’s managed to make the world’s most exciting racetrack, the Nürburgring Nordschleife, seem deathly dull by setting the world’s first fuel economy record for the 20.8km German circuit.
The ‘record’ was set during a regular tourist day by motoring journalist Joe Clifford driving a Toyota Prius TRD. He took 20min 59sec to complete the lap, recording an average full consumption of 0.4L/100km. Theoretically, the Prius could complete an entire lap on electric power alone, but the steep ascent up to the Karussell required additional petrol power to make the climb.
Interestingly, Toyota claims all circuit rules were adhered to during the test, including the minimum average speed of 60km/h. But completing a 20.8km lap at an average of exactly 60km/h should result in a lap time of 20min 49sec – Clifford’s effort equates to an average of 59.48km/h.
Let’s hope Toyota’s new achievement doesn’t inspire similar attempts, lest the iconic Green Hell be overrun by silent hybrids slipstreaming each other at 60.1km/h. If you have too much time on your hands, or find yourself struggling to fall asleep tonight, a video detailing the attempt can be found above.