Leave it to Audi to continue making electric drive news at the track. The automaker’s R8 e-tron – an electrified version of the way-cool R8 supercar – has set a world record for electric production vehicles at Nürburgring’s Nordschleife loop, regarded by many as one of the most demanding test tracks in the world.
Piloted by race driver Markus Winkelhock, the electric sports car powered its way around the 12.92-mile track in 8:09.099 minutes to achieve its electric drive milestone. To place this in perspective, the current record lap driven in a Gumpert Apollo Sport powered by a 700 horsepower Audi V-8 stands at 7:11.57 minutes.
The record-setting Audi R8 e-tron was powered by the same electric drivetrain that will be offered in the production R8 e-tron coming to market late this year. Specs for the production car include acceleration from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a blistering 4.6 seconds. While the track effort allowed a 155 mph top end for the run, the production variant will be limited to a ‘mere’ 124 mph.
A pair of electric motors generating 375 hp and massive torque power the R8 e-tron. It’s energized by a 9 KWh lithium-ion battery pack that allows an approximate 134 mile range, although obviously not at speed. The pack is positioned in a ‘T’ configuration along the center tunnel and behind the passenger compartment.
Light weight is typically a hallmark of a high performance electric cars and the Audi R8 is no exception. The R8’s bodyshell is largely constructed of aluminum with carbon fiber reinforced polymer components. The result is a supercar weighing in at 3,924 pounds, batteries included.