Pass the AA batteries, please. Why? Because the all-electric Audi R8 e-tron has set a new lap record for an electrically powered production car at Nurburgring. Its time, in fact, is a battery busting 8:09.099 minutes. This was posted by Markus Winkelhock - who is powered by superhero food and talent rather than electricity. So, let us put his time in perspective. Nurburgring is a 12.92 mile circuit with electron exhausting corners that exposes any weaknesses in a car or driver. It is – without any doubt - one of the toughest circuits in the world. It has therefore been the proving ground for dozens of seriously fast production cars.
Racer Markus Winkelhock revealed: “Of course, the R8 e-tron is a production car not a racing car with the assistance of aerodynamics. But with its low centre of gravity and rear biased weight distribution it brings with it a lot of sporty qualities. The torque with which the electric motors propel the car uphill beats everything that I know – even if they make hardly any noise in the process which at the start was really a completely new experience for me.”
Michael Dick, AUDI AG Board Member for Technical Development, added “The R8 e-tron has given a magnificent demonstration of its potential on the toughest race track in the world. The record-setting drive confirmed that we are on the right track. To us, electric mobility has never been about sacrifice but rather about emotion, sportiness and driving pleasure.”
The Audi R8 e-tron's motor produces 820Nm of torque and 280kW. The latter is equivalent to around 380PS. As such, it rockets to 62mph in 4.6 seconds and on to 124mph. However, the R8 that took-on Nurburgring was modified to race at 155mph. The R8's lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 49 KWh, so it has a range of up to one-hundred and thirty-three miles depending on the conditions. Racing through Nurburgring guzzles more gas than cruising, of course. Other R8 e-tron strengths include its lightweight construction, striking looks, and sky-high image. Expect a production début in late 2012. No AA batteries, then?
By Stephen Turvil
Wed, 15 Aug 2012