29th June 2012
The future of electric mobility at Audi is highly dynamic: The 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-kilometer 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.
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 700 hp Audi V8 gasoline 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 on 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 4,900 Nm (3,614.05 lb-ft) are distributed to the rear wheels nearly from a standing start.
The Audi R8 e-tron accelerates from zero to 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds. Its top speed is normally limited to 200 km/h but 250 km/h 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 215 kilometers. Its “T” shape allows it to be installed in the center tunnel and in the area between the passenger compartment and the rear axle. It is charged by energy recovery during coasting and braking. The ultralight car body of the Audi R8 e-tron is made primarily of aluminum, along with CFRP components; this is a main reason why the high-performance sports car weighs just 1,780 kilograms, 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 200 km/h. At 8:30.873 and 8:26.096 minutes, both laps were well under the important nine-minute threshold.