With Aditya Patel, race car driver and tester for Autocar India, behind the wheel of a production model Audi R8 V10 Plus, Autocar has just set a new top speed record in India wih a staggering 332.2kph! This top speed run was held on the outskirts of Hyderabad under controlled conditions and was monitored and certified by officials from the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India, Ernst & Young and the Limca Book of Records.
The previous record was set by Formula 1 driver, Jamie Alguersuari at the Buddh International Circuit, at the 2011 Indian Grand Prix. The record stood at 324.2kph; which means the new record by Autocar India is now a whole 8kph faster than before!
After a good deal of scouting around the country for a stretch of tarmac to attempt such a feat, the ORR or Outer Ring Road on the outskirts of Hyderabad was identified. A partially constructed, five-lane, 7km long section was chosen for the record attempt; this stretch was cordoned off with the help of local authorities.
The R8 V10 Plus' 610hp of power on tap, coupled with Audis famed quattro (four wheel) drive system and a stunningly good chassis, meant this was a pretty potent recipe for hitting those record figures.
Aside from the R8 being in complete factory trim with no modifications whatsoever, the car was fitted with a wide array of data acquisition hardware to accurately record its true velocity. Aditya Patel managed to give Audi a very pleasant surprise when he beat Audis officially claimed 330kph top speed, with a 332.2kph one, in his first run! This was achieved with the R8 hitting the 8,500rpm rev limiter in seventh gear, in a mere 5.1km, giving Aditya a good 1.9km stretch to slow down.
It was amazing how easy it was to achieve this speed in complete safety. No doubt, at speeds beyond 300kph you feel every ripple on the road and all five lanes dramatically narrow to give you tunnel vision, the faster you go. I expected the R8 to move around a bit with so much wind buffeting the car but I was astonished with its stability and composure. It feels fabulous to be a part of this exhilarating, record breaking experience, said Aditya Patel.
After Adityas record breaking run, editor at Autocar India, Hormazd Sorabjee, decided to have a go as well. He hit an officially recorded 331.9kph and waltzed into the rather exclusive 200mph (320kph) club. Im not a racing driver so I was pretty nervous and took an initial exploratory run to gain confidence. But in the end, maxing out the R8 on a closed road with good visibility all round, was pretty stress-free, said Hormazd.
This is one record-breaking run that is as remarkable as it is memorable; it will forever be etched in Indian motoring history.