Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid sets a different kind of Nurburgring lap record

Carmakers are obsessed with the Nurburgring. Seemingly every performance car (and even the odd luxury crossover) has to complete a few laps of the track called “Green Hell” to be considered legitimate.

The list of Nurburgring lap records is home to the most sophisticated production performance cars around, and now there’s a new name to add: Toyota Prius.

Yes, a Toyota Prius just set a lap record at the ‘Ring, but it had nothing to do with speed. Its 20 minute, 59 second time was practically walking speed compared to the sub-seven minute times clocked by the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder.

Instead, Toyota pursued a record no one else would have considered. Achieving 581 miles per gallon over the 12.9-mile circuit, a Prius Plug-In Hybrid is now the most fuel-efficient car ever to lap the Nurburgring.

To get that incredible figure, automotive journalist Joe Clifford drove almost the entire lap in electric mode; the car’s gasoline engine only kicked in briefly during a long uphill stretch.

After driving nearly 13 miles, he used just five tablespoons of fuel.

The Prius Plug-In has a rated electric range of 15 miles in European testing and 11 miles in U.S. EPA testing, so completing most of the lap on battery power wasn’t too much of a problem.

Speed wasn’t an issue either. The Prius can drive up to 70 mph in electric mode, but Clifford only had to maintain the 37 mpg average required on the track.

Other than a TRD body kit (which was just for looks) and low rolling resistance tires, the Prius was completely stock, showing the efficiency can be extracted from cars already in showrooms.

However, just like the low lap times achieved by supercars, this performance isn’t something you should try on public roads.

Just as it’s inadvisable to replicate the pace of a Nurburgring fast lap on the morning commute, it may not be a good idea to drive like Clifford did.

If nothing else, you might die of embarrassment after seeing the traffic jam you cause.

Cars

Nikola previews $80K NZT off-road EV speedster with 590 horsepower

Nikola Motor is taking reservations for the NZT, a high-performance, all-electric off-highway vehicle (OHV). The $80K NZT has 590 horsepower, 775 foot-pounds of torque, and reaches 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds.
Cars

2020 Ford Escape gets sleeker styling, greener powertrains, more tech

The 2020 Ford Escape gets redesigned for the first time since the 2013 model year. Ford brought back the hybrid powertrain, and is adding a plug-in hybrid option for the first time.
Cars

Your electric, 610-hp Aston Martin sport sedan has arrived, Mr. Bond

At least four years in the making, the electric Aston Martin Rapide E made its global debut during the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. It leaves the V12 behind, and adopts a battery-powered drivetrain that delivers 610 hp and 700 lb-ft. of torque.
Cars

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show will have it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe will travel to the 2019 edition to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.
Cars

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 proves the General Motors luxury brand still cares about sedans. Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, it features Cadillac's Super Cruise tech and a lineup of turbocharged engines.
Cars

The 2020 Toyota Yaris offers big car tech in a small, Mazda-flavored package

Toyota resurrected the Yaris nameplate with a little bit of help from Mazda. Closely related to the Mazda2, the hatchback now stands out with a sharper design than before, and tech features normally found on bigger, more expensive cars.
Cars

Drywall or kayaks? The 2020 Toyota Highlander is ready for your weekend plans

Toyota introduced the 2020 Highlander ahead of its public debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The fourth-generation Highlander is bigger than its predecessor, and it comes with more tech features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Cars

2020 Acura TLX PMC Edition is an ordinary sedan built in a supercar factory

What's so special about the 2020 Acura TLX PMC Edition? It's built at the Acura Performance Manufacturing Center, the Ohio factory that makes the NSX supercar. The TLX PMC Edition debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show.
Cars

With drift mode, Kia’s Stinger GTS lets you unleash your inner hooligan

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the limited-edition Kia Stinger GTS gets a trick all-wheel drive system that should enable plenty of sideways action. But only 800 buyers will get to try it.
Cars

Technology trickles down from above to make the new 2019 Audi Q3 smarter

The redesigned 2019 Audi Q3 makes its U.S. debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The firm's smallest SUV receives tech features like a virtual cockpit and a single screen variant of MMI Touch Response from bigger models.
Cars

Kia’s HabaNiro concept is an autonomous electric car that knows when you’re sad

Debuting at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the Kia HabaNiro concept is supposed to preview the future of the everyday car. That future will include artificial intelligence tech that can read the driver's emotions, according to Kia.
Cars

Mercedes-Benz will give the tech-savvy 2020 CLA more power at New York Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation CLA during CES 2019, and it will expand the lineup when it unveils a midrange model named CLA 35 at the upcoming 2019 New York Auto Show.
Cars

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.
Cars

More tech and more space make the Mercedes-Benz GLS the S-Class of the SUV world

Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation GLS at the 2019 New York Auto Show. The company's biggest and most luxurious SUV gains more tech features in its quest to become the S-Class of the SUV world.