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Found this article in Toyota Synergy Hybrid View




Yes, there is a hybrid-car land-speed record, and the "Prius Greensport" owns it. In August, a small team of Toyota Associates and a Car and Driver writer arrived at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to see just how fast Prius would go. The Bonneville environment is challenging: hot, dry and high in altitude. It is naturally paved with a flat bed of salt that stretches for miles, in what was an ancient salt lake.


For generations the trek to Bonneville has been an American ritual performed by small, dedicated teams of speed enthusiasts. Backyard mechanics rub elbows with professional drivers and corporate crews. They share the quest to push their machines to be as fast as possible.

Bonneville Speed Week has strict rules and procedures for teams to follow. The teams take their work very seriously. Records set at Bonneville are recognized worldwide.

The idea to take Prius to Bonneville began with a "what if" conversation between Car and Driver writer Aaron Robinson and Toyota National Manager Bill Reinert. The notion of a hybrid speed record was so intriguing that it quickly turned into a fast-track build project at the Toyota Motorsports workshop in Torrance, California. The result was the Prius Greensport, a 2004 Prius with the stock Hybrid Synergy Drive® system, plus a couple of modifications: bigger wheels and tires, and a change in gearing.

The gear modifications make takeoff from the starting line a bit challenging, but at Bonneville, that is no problem. Rules allow vehicles to get a push start because top speed is the main concern. On the so-called Short Track, cars have one mile to get up to full speed before measurements are taken. Two miles remain to reach top speed, and plenty of salt follows to slow down and stop safely.

Prius Greensport claimed the first Bonneville hybrid production car speed record at 130.794 miles per hour with Aaron Robinson behind the wheel. Shigeyuki Hori, Toyota's Executive Chief Engineer for Prius, and Fumiaki Kobayashi, a Toyota Vice President, also had fast runs on the salt. Kobayashi says, "I think it is important that Prius has set the first hybrid-car speed record. We demonstrated that hybrids could exhibit high performance. It is important for us to challenge ourselves and the auto world to see what hybrids can do. Prius Greensport will inspire us to imagine new possibilities, and might challenge others to try Bonneville themselves."


C.Rickey Hirose, Fremont Toyota CA
 

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C.RICKEY HIROSE said:
The result was the Prius Greensport, a 2004 Prius with the stock Hybrid Synergy Drive® system, plus a couple of modifications: bigger wheels and tires, and a change in gearing.
Not exactly stock. They swapped the ICE out for one out of an Echo.
 

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SkipHuffman said:
Not exactly stock. They swapped the ICE out for one out of an Echo.
I'd hate to be the owner of that Echo :p
 

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The Toyota news letter we had a couple of weeks back said it was a stock Prius drivetrain.

SkipHuffman said:
C.RICKEY HIROSE said:
The result was the Prius Greensport, a 2004 Prius with the stock Hybrid Synergy Drive® system, plus a couple of modifications: bigger wheels and tires, and a change in gearing.
Not exactly stock. They swapped the ICE out for one out of an Echo.
 

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Time to write a letter to the editor - good catch SkipHuffman!

SkipHuffman said:
Joel said:
The Toyota news letter we had a couple of weeks back said it was a stock Prius drivetrain.
Car and Driver says differently.

The 1.5-liter engine's block and head were stock Toyota Echo, or basically the same as the Prius but without the fuel-maximizing Atkinson-cycle valve-timing mechanism.

http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=4&article_id=8695&page_number=3
 
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