Earlier this week, an Audi R8 e-tron became the fastest electric-powered production vehicle to lap Germany’s famed 12.93-mile Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit turning in a best run of 8:09.099 minutes. That clocking is virtually equal to an Audi TT-RS Coupe and a scant five ticks off the pace of a conventional R8 fitted with the 4.2-liter V8. Piloted by Markus Winklehock, the Audi R8 E-tron ran with the same powertrain elements to be used in the production model that launches later this year, including a pair of electric motors that generate 308 horsepower and 605 lb-ft of torque which is sent to the rear wheels.
While the car was fitted with its standard 49kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the electronic limiter that normally restricts its top speed to 200 km/h (124.3 mph) was tweaked to permit a 250 km/h (155.3 mph) maximum velocity. In an attempt to more directly showcase the real-world potential of the R8 e-tron, Winklehock later came back to snap off two more laps with the car’s limiter in full force, netting still pretty impressive times of 8:30.873 and 8:26.096 minutes.
"The R8 e-tron has given a magnificent demonstration of its potential on the toughest race track in the world," said Michael Dick, Audi AG Board Member for Technical Development. The record-setting drive confirmed that we are on the right track. To us, electric mobility has never been about sacrifice, but rather is about emotion, sportiness and driving pleasure."
The absolute electric vehicle mark for any vehicle is still held by the Toyota Motorsport Group’s TMG EV P001 sports racer which turned in a 7:47.494 lap on the Nordschleife circuit last summer.