Toyota hybrid race car cooks breakfast

Toyota\'s Le Mans racer demonstrates regenerative braking.

To demonstrate its regenerative braking technology to a public still largely unclear on how hybrids work, Toyota recently cooked breakfast for 171 people with its TS040 race car.

The stunt, called Toyota Barista, invited 171 people (actors?) into a room lined with tables, coffee pots, toasters and frying pans. Then its 1,000-horsepower Le Mans racer pulled into the room with driver Kazuki Nakajima behind the wheel.

All the cooking contraptions were then "connected" to the race car, which accelerated on a rolling dyno to what, according to the screen, was 176 mph in a virtual lap around Sarthe Circuit.

6 million joules are generated each lap of the 24-hour race. In competition, this would be made stored in on-board capacitors and fed back into the powertrain for extra speed when needed. However, if you chose to cook breakfast with that energy instead, you'd get 171.4 cups of coffee, 83.3 slices of toast, and 57.7 fried eggs.

Clearly, it's just a marketing stunt, but it's a clever demonstration of how regenerative braking works for less technically minded car buyers.

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