Audi has set the Nürburgring lap record for a production vehicle with an electric drive system. The Audi R8 e-tron set a time of 8 minutes 9.099 seconds on the circuit in the hands of Markus Winkelhock.
The R8 e-tron's lap time is around a minute longer than the current production car record holder. The Gumpert Apollo Sport, powered by a 700hp Audi V8 engine, recorded a time of 7 minutes 11.57 seconds.
In addition to his record lap Winkelhock drove a second electric R8 for two laps. This car's top speed was limited to 124mph and managed to lap the circuit in 8:30.873 and 8:26.096.
Audi claims the production e-tron will use exactly the same electric drive system. Energy is stored in a T-shaped lithium-ion battery with sufficient capacity for a 134-mile range. Two electric motors provide 312hp. The official performance figures are 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds and a top speed limited to 124mph. For the record lap the limiter was raised to 155mph.
Winkelhock described the record breaking run as "a fantastic experience". Michael Dick, Audi board member for Technical Development, commented: "The record-setting drive confirmed that we are on the right track. To us, electric mobility has never been about sacrifice, but rather is about emotion, sportiness and driving pleasure."
The Audi R8 e-tron will go on sale towards the end of the year.
John Lambert - 3 Jul 2012