The Audi R8 e-tron has set a world record for a production vehicle with an electric drive system on the Nürburgring Nordschleife – the toughest test track in the world. Racing driver Markus Winkelhock piloted the high-performance, all-electric-drive sports car around the demanding 20.8-kilometre (12.92-mile) track in 8:09.099 minutes. With this, Audi has achieved yet another milestone in its history, following overall wins at the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and Le Mans.
"The R8 e-tron has given a magnificent demonstration of its potential on the toughest race track in the world," said Michael Dick, Audi AG Board Member for Technical Development. Dick, who completed a fast lap himself in the R8 e-tron, added: "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."
A comparison with the current record lap driven by a combustion-engined production car shows just how impressive the 8:09.099-minute time really is. The record time of 7:11.57 minutes was achieved with a Gumpert Apollo Sport, which is powered by a 515 kW (700 hp) Audi V8 petrol engine.
The drive system of the Audi R8 e-tron that Markus Winkelhock drove to the world record corresponds in every detail with that of the production model that will come in the market at the end of the year. Both of the car's electric motors generate an output of 230 kW and 820 Nm of torque; more than 4900 Nm is distributed to the rear wheels nearly from a standing start.
The Audi R8 e-tron accelerates from zero to 100kph in just 4.6 seconds. Its top speed is normally limited to 200kph; 250kph was approved for the record-setting lap.
The R8 e-tron's rechargeable lithium-ion battery stores 49 KWh of energy – enough for a distance of about 215km. Its ‘T’ shape allows it to be installed in the centre tunnel and in the area between the passenger compartment and the rear axle. It is charged by energy recovery during coasting and braking. The ultra-light car body of the R8 e-tron is made primarily of aluminium, along with CFRP components; this is a main reason why the high-performance sports car weighs just 1,780kg, despite the large battery.
In order to further underscore the production-relevance of the R8 e-tron and the capability of its drive technology, Audi has set another record on the Nordschleife in addition to the single lap record time. Immediately afterwards, Markus Winkelhock drove two fast laps in one go in a second R8 e-tron that was limited to 200kph. At 8:30.873 and 8:26.096 minutes, both laps were well under the important nine-minute threshold.
Issue: 166 | June 2013
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