Toyota Motorsport is hoping for a spectacular few months in the middle of 2012, most notably with the race debut for the TS030 HYBRID in the Le Mans 24 hour and now for an EV assault on Pikes Peak.
Not content with challenging the all-conquering Audi Team Joest with its hybrid 3400cc V8 and supercapacitor energy storage system, the company has unveiled a new development of its TMG EV P001 car (which set a very respectable EV lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 2011) dubbed the P002 with which it will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado on July 8.
Last year TMG set a new electric lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife with the road-legal TMG EV P001 car. The powertain from that car has now been fitted to a chassis from Radical Sportscars to form the basis of the new TMG EV P002 car.
The new P002 will compete at Pikes Peak as part of a project from Japanese company RK1 Inc. Multiple Japanese rally champion Fumio Nutahara will drive the car with Yokohama branding.
The TMG EV P002 has a predicted top speed of 240km/h (150 mph) in Pikes Peak configuration, with combined maximum power of 350 kW from its two axial flux motors.
The hillclimb, which begins at an altitude of 2,800 m (9,190 ft) and reaches the summit of 4,300 m (14,100 ft), is an ideal environment to showcase the strengths of an electric powertrain, specifically that the twin electric motors produce a consistent 900 Nm of torque regardless of altitude, while combustion-engined vehicles drop off in performance with altitude due to air density.
The TMG EV P002 underwent a successful three-day test at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France in May and even the press statement was clear that "TMG wants to be increasingly involved in electric motorsport and we believe our powertrain technology is an industry-leading combination of performance, durability and packaging."
That's unlikely to be proven at Le Mans, where the bookies have installed Audi as an odds-on favourite.
The final line of the company press release announcing the new P002 sums the whole thing up nicely. "Electric powertrain technology in motorsport is still in its development phase but through projects like this one, TMG is laying the foundations for the future of high-performance and motorsport cars.”