Big­gest test passed by hy­brid

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

TOY­OTA’S hy­brid Camry, to be launched in Aus­tralia early next year, has passed the ul­ti­mate per­for­mance test with ap­proval to serve as pace car in the fastest and long­est NASCAR race in the US.

The petrol-elec­tric Camry has passed on-track ac­cel­er­a­tion tests with fly­ing colours to be­come the first hy­brid used as the of­fi­cial pace car for an en­tire event in the premier NASCAR Cup se­ries.

The Hy­brid Camry will pace a 960km race around a 2.4km oval in North Carolina on May 24 as well as five other NASCAR Cup events this year.

Its pace car de­but comes just months be­fore the hy­brid Camry goes on sale in Aus­tralia, where it will make his­tory as the first lo­cally pro­duced hy­brid ve­hi­cle.

Pace cars must meet per­for­mance stan­dards, in­clud­ing be­ing able to reach 160kmh over just 400m on a banked track from a stand­ing start near the pit-road exit.

Toy­ota Motors Sales USA mo­tor sports cor­po­rate mar­ket­ing man­ager Ed Laukes said the NASCAR ap­proval process took about a year.

“It’s a trib­ute to the torque and other per­for­mance char­ac­ter­is­tics of the hy­brid Camry that al­lows it to meet NASCAR’s re­quire­ments for pac­ing the long­est race of the sea­son,” Mr Laukes said.

“There are mis­con­cep­tions about hy­brid tech­nol­ogy among the pub­lic that we’re try­ing to erase,” he said.

“This is a way for us to demon­strate the hy­brid used on the track is the ex­act same car you can buy in a show­room.”

The hy­brid Camry is pow­ered by a 2.4-litre four-cylin­der petrol en­gine and an elec­tric mo­tor with com­bined out­put of ap­prox­i­mately 140kW and fuel econ­omy of around 7 litres/100km.

Apart from spe­cial graph­ics and warn­ing lights, the pace car is a stan­dard pro­duc­tion model with an iden­ti­cal pow­er­train to the one in the car that will be of­fered to Aus­tralian mo­torists.

The lo­cal Hy­brid Camry will be pro­duced at Toy­ota’s Al­tona man­u­fac­tur­ing com­plex in Mel­bourne.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.