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« Commercial Hybrid Vans Reach 20% Higher Fuel Savings Than Conventionals, Says Energy Report | Main | NYS Governor To Install Hundreds Of New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Statewide »
Friday
Aug312012

Audi R8 e-tron Sets Electric Speed Record on German Track, Comparable To Top Gas Speeds

The R8 e-tron has set a world record for a production car with an electric drive system on the Nürburgring Nordschlefe, which is one of the toughest, if not the toughest test tracks in the world.

Race driver Markus Winkelhock test drove the high-performance, all-electric-drive sports car around the 20.8 kilometers track in 8:09.099 minutes.

Winkelhock made a statement evaluating the car’s performance saying, “Of course, the R8 e-tron is a production car, not a race car with the assistance of aerodynamics. But with its low center of gravity and rear biased weight distribution, it brings with it a lot of sporty qualities.”

“The torque with which the electric motors propel the car uphill beats everything that I know – even if they hardly make any noise in the process, which at the start was really a completely new experience for me. In places where I really need traction, the torque vectoring – the displacement of the torque between the power wheels – really helps me,” continued Winkelhock.

The R8 e-tron reached speeds on the Nürburgring test close to the top speeds of gas-powered cars. To get an idea, the Gumpert Apollo Sport – powered by a 515 kW (700 hp) Audi V8 gasoline engine – has a record time of 7:11.57, about a minute faster than the R8’s 8:09.099.

The drive system of the R8 that Winkelhock drove will correspond “in every detail” with the production model that will come out on the market at the end of this year, said Audi.

The R8 accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 4.6 seconds. Its top speed is normally limited to 200 km/h (124.27 mph), but 250 km/h (155.34 mph) was approved for the record-setting lap.

The R8’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery stores 49 KWh of energy, which provides enough power to go a distance of about 215 kilometers (133.59 miles). Battery’s ‘T’ shape allows it to be installed in the center tunnel and in the area between the passenger compartment and the rear axle. The battery is charged by the car’s energy recovery system during coasting and braking.

Another reason for the R8’s high performance is its ultralight weight, with the car’s body being made of aluminum and CFRP (carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer/plastic) components, and weighing about 1,780 kilograms (3,924.23 lbs.).

The company also further touted the R8’s accomplishments in drive-speed, praising that Audi also set “another record in the Nordschlefe in addition to the single lap record time. Immediately afterward, Markus Winkelhock drove two fast laps in one go in a second R8 e-tron that was limited to 200km/h (124.27 mph). At 8:30.873 and 8:26.096 minutes, both laps were well under the important nine-minute threshold.”

Michael Dick, AUDI AG board member for technical development, added to the accolades, saying, “We won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in May in the Audi R8 LMS ultra with a ten-cylinder engine. In June we triumphed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, the first overall victory for a hybrid-electric in the toughest race in the world. And now, we’ve set another record with the all-electric drive R8 e-tron on the most demanding track in there is.”

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