Electric Audi R8 e-tron sets record at Nurburgring

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Audi R8 e-tron

The electric Audi R8 e-tron has set a lap record for an electric car at the Nürburgring ahead of the launch of the production car later in 2012.

The R8 e-tron set a lap time of 8:09.099 minutes around the 12.92-mile track, driven by racing driver Markus Winkelhock.

The drive system of the Audi R8 e-tron that Markus Winkelhock drove to the world record is identical to that of the road-going model that will enter production towards the end of the year. The car’s electric motors generate a combined output of 280 kW and 820 Nm of torque; more than 4,900 Nm (3,614.05 lb-ft) is distributed to the rear wheels virtually from a standing start.

The Audi R8 e-tron accelerates from zero to 62mph in just 4.6 seconds. Its top speed is normally limited to 124mph; 155mph 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 133 miles. Its “T” shape allows it to be installed in the centre 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 body of the Audi R8 e-tron is made primarily of aluminium, resulting in the car weighing just 1,780 kilograms, despite the large battery.

Markus Winkelhock also drove two fast laps in one go in a second R8 e-tron that was limited to 124mph. At 8:30.873 and 8:26.096 minutes, both laps were well under the important nine-minute threshold.

Read about the Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid winning at the Le Mans 24 Hours