2013 Toyota EV P002 electric race carEnlarge Photo
After breaking the Pikes Peak record for an electric car in 2012, and coming a respectable sixth overall, Toyota is set to return to the famous ‘Race To The Clouds’ this year with an improved version of its EV P002 electric racer.
Toyota has also secured a new driver for its 2013 challenge: nine-time Pikes Peak winner Rod Millen, father of current Pikes Peak record holder Rhys Millen.
The 2013-spec EV P002 is once again engineered and built by Toyota’s German performance unit TMG, though the chassis is supplied by British firm radical.
It features a similar spec to last year’s car, though it boasts 14 percent more power. The final output from the car’s two axial flux motors is 400 kilowatts (536 horsepower). Peak torque, meanwhile, has been boosted by more than 30 percent to a thumping 885 pound-feet, all of which is delivered through a single-gear transmission.
Powering the motors is a 42-kilowatt-hour lithium-ceramic battery. Toyota hasn’t said what range it provides under race conditions but has said top speed of the EV P002 is limited to 143 mph in order to maximize range.
The car is now on its way to a facility in Salisbury, North Carolina, where TRD will sharpen the aerodynamics of the chassis before conducting the first track tests alongside their colleagues from TMG.
For an event like the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, where the finish line is more than 14,000 feet above sea level, the performance of electric race cars isn’t impended by the thinning air like it is with conventional combustion cars. This gives Toyota’s EV P002 a slight advantage over the competition.
The major disadvantages of electric cars are their limited range and time required to charge their batteries, the latter of which requires a reliable connection to the power grid. As there is no such connection on Pikes Peak, Toyota will bring a van equipped with a special quick charger. This quick charger packs a 42-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and is able to quickly deliver high levels of power to an electric car without additional installation or infrastructure.
The 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb is scheduled for June 30. We’re expecting the 2013-spec Toyota EV P002 to break the current 10:15.380 Pikes Peak electric car lap record, and we bet Toyota engineers are just as keen to take the car out to the Nürburgring and beat their previous record of 7:22.329 set by last year’s car.