Al Gore III’s Hybrid Speed Demon
By Mike Nizza
An article in The New York Times about the popularity of the Toyota Prius compared with hybrid versions of other cars found that part of the draw was that many buyers seem to “want everyone to know they are driving a hybrid.”
Now we know another reason: it can go pretty fast. Reports over the holiday about Al Gore’s son being arrested on speeding and drug charges came with a mind-boggling kicker: He was clocked doing 100 miles an hour in the crunchiest of cars.
And he didn’t push it to top speed, according to a Toyota news release flagged by the good folks at Digg today. In 2004, the company tested a Prius over at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, where Formula One racers and rocket cars have broken one speed record after another over the years. Toyota got the needle on that baby up to 130.
The test was meant to show the buying public that the Prius was no slouch in the performance department, compared with its conventional-engined cousins. Now Toyota has Al Gore III to thank for spreading the word in his own way.