Audi sets new Nurburgring electric-car lap record in R8 e-tron
By Mark Atkinson for MSN Autos
We're only a few months away from another highly desirable electric car hitting our streets. The Audi R8 e-tron has been on our radar screen for a couple years now, and this battery-powered electric is getting some final tweaks before it goes on sale to the public later this fall.
Using a pair of 300-horsepower electric motors - one at each axle to mimic Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive - the R8 e-tron is able to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in only 4.6 seconds. For comparison, that matches the 'regular' 4.2-litre V8-powered R8, despite the gasoline-powered car only having 420 horses. The main reason for the difference is the increase in weight. Despite Audi's use of aluminum and carbon-fibre, the giant lithium-ion battery pack and other assorted gear brings the e-tron's weight up to nearly 1,800 kg or between 100-150 kg more than other R8 models.
However, going for the electric-car record at the 21-km Nurburgring Nordschleiffe requires anything but restraint, and Audi actually had to increase the e-tron's speed limiter from 200 km/h up to 250 km/h to take advantage of the track's notoriously long straights.
With an Audi development driver behind the wheel, the e-tron completed a lap in 8:09.099, which is an amazing achievement. That's an enormous achievement given that the lighter V8-powered R8 did it in 8:04, while the V10-powered R8 5.2 FSI was a little faster at 7:44.
The Peugeot EX1 Concept had set a time of just over nine minutes back in May 2011. (Toyota has gone faster around the 'Ring in an electric car, but the car is essentially a full-on prototype race car and an earlier evolution of the machine that they'll eventually race up Pikes Peak this year.)