Toyota Prius Race Car Car News Car and Driver

22 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Toyota Prius Race Car Car News Car and Driver отключены
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Toyota Prius Race Car

the idea of a sprint race, by an eco run-in the same car!

2004

BY PETER LYON BY MASANOBU IKENOHIRA

At the long-lead drive inside Toyota’s Higashifuji proving ground year, several of the invited were so impressed with the new that they strongly Toyota put its money where its is and take the Prius racing.

The new was faster, handled far better, and looked sharper than the model. But would that be to meet Toyota’s expectations of 300,000 hybrid vehicles by 2005? Hybrids still the slow, ugly, and boring and Toyota needs to overcome hurdle if the hybrid is going to be the hit the thinks it should be.

So the top brass in Toyota City bit the and built three Prius cars. Japan’s No. 1 automaker to produce these race-spec in the space of just two months the help of Toyota Racing which runs all the company’s race cars.

And the surprising is the Prius handles superbly on the Don’t expect the batteries and the motor to last more one lap, though. With the floored constantly, the battery runs out of puff, leaving the car to run on its four-cylinder engine.

The power has incidentally been changed an Atkinson unit with tuned valve timing and fuel efficiency to a less friendly but more conventional engine, straight from the Echo small car, 145 hp. On the track, the race version has fuel consumption than the model. This engine was necessary to achieve the results we from the car. Otherwise, chief engineer Masao we have done little under the hood. The batteries are the and the THS II hybrid system is identical.

Toyota considered upgrading the and hybrid system to increase output, but that would meant totally recalibrating the THS II and battery pack, and the powers be were not ready to do that yet.

The difference is under the First, the spring rate was 15 percent, and stabilizers from the model were employed. The absorbers were stiffened, and the geometry was modified for flatter with less body

At the front end, the steering-knuckle was reinforced, and special high-performance Potenza RE050 rubber boasting a stickier compound on the standard model, was fitted all

Inoue also knew he had to get the down. So his team stripped from inside the carseats, power windows, air conditioningand that void with two seats and matching harnesses as as a shiny six-point roll

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On the circuit, the suspension modifications, the grip, and the lighter curb are immediately obvious. The car turns in with an even sharper action than that of the model. The chassis rework has done cleverly, translating a well-balanced car that doesn’t turn tightly but has its rear end in nicely to produce a welcome of neutrality in the corners.

The outgoing model was infamous for its and less-than-precise cornering. However, a corner too hot in the new race version, and the control cuts in quickly to let you the front wheels are overcooking and precious grip. In fact, you find that your to corner fast and clean in the race-spec car rests on not engaging the control.

This, unfortunately, at the cannot be switched off, Inoue.

One of the main bones of with the original Prius was its brakes. On the new model, the spongy feel and unsure grip-rigidity have been vastly But there still remains a kick at the end of the pedal stroke, as you close in on a corner with left pedal depressed.

Brake response is excellent, but admits that the brakes are an that requires constant


So, will Toyota introduce a new Prius race series year? The prospects are not good the company has not noticed much interest. If the series does to fruition, the Prius could be the race car ever that can be run in a 15-to-20-minute sprint race, and perhaps an hour later, the drivers could go onto the again to do battle in an eco run.

Only this time be fighting for fuel-consumption honors.

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