Audi R8 E-tron (2012) sets new 'Ring recordMon, 02 Jul 2012
Audi has set a new electric road car lap record of 8:09:099 minutes around the Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany.
The fully electric supercar isn't just a concept though - it's gearing up for sales before the end of 2012.How did the R8 E-tron lap the 'Ring so fast?
It may be electric, but the R8 E-tron ain't no Renault Twizy. Its twin electric motors produce 309bhp, and upon launch it tasks its rear tyres with applying a mammoth 605lb ft onto the road.
That gives the R8 E-tron some impressive performance figures: 0-62mph takes 4.6 seconds, exactly the same time the petrol 4.2-litre V8 R8 requires in the same exercise.
Top speed on the production cars will be limited to 124mph, but for the purposes of the record attempt this was raised to 155mph.
Incidentally, a second R8 E-tron was lapped with the 124mph limiter in place, and posted lap times of 8:30.873 and 8:26.096 minutes.So it's fast, but was the R8 E-tron hampered in the corners?
Audi have gone to great lengths in engineering the R8 E-tron to not suffer dynamically for its zero-emission drivetrain.
The 49 KWh battery - good for an estimated 134 mile range - is arranged in a 'T'-shape behind the passenger compartment to benefit the centre of gravity.
There's also been a battle to offset the heft of those weighty batteries: carbon fibre and aluminium body construction means the electic R8 tips the scales at 1780kg. The similarly-fast V8 R8 is comparatively flyweight at 1560kg, a Nissan GT-R nearer the mark at 1740kg.And I can buy my very own R8 E-tron later in 2012?
You can indeed, and you'll be pleased to hear it will be identical in every way to the cars used in the record run arround the 12.92 mile Nordschleife. Prices have yet to be announced, but as is the way with new technologies, you'll no doubt pay a hefty premium over conventional machinery for the privilege of ownership.
Prcies are likely to top £150,000 when the E-tron arrives in winter 2012, nearly 50 per cent more than the R8 V10 coupe.
By Ollie Kew