Two months ago, the Audi R8 E-Tron was caught at the Nürburgring, getting its gumption up for what everyone has come to consider The Obligatory Timed Lap of Destiny. The lap has been completed with Markus Winkelhock at the wheel, and the result is a world record for a series production electric car: eight minutes and 9.099 seconds. If you believe in Wikipedia's list of 'Ring lap times, that puts the R8 E-Tron with its 375 horsepower and stupefying torque 25 seconds behind the R8 V10, five seconds adrift of the eight-cylinder R8, and in the same company as the Audi RS4 and previous generation BMW M6.

If we ignore the fact that you can't buy an R8 E-Tron yet, the hot lap car "corresponds in every detail" to the one you will be able to buy at the end of this year. Well, not exactly: customer cars will be speed-limited to 200 kph (125 mph), but for the 'Ring run, the limiter was raised to 250 kph. More practical numbers for civilian jaunts are the 0-to-62 mph time of 4.6 seconds and a 134-mile range when fully charged.

More important to all of us will be the video footage of its triumph, which we hope to see very soon. In the meantime, there's the obligatory press release of destiny below.
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World record for the Audi R8 e-tron: with 8:09.099 minutes at the Nürburgring

- Superior peak performance for electric-drive production vehicles
- Racing driver Markus Winkelhock piloted the new electric sports car with 280 kW output
- Michael Dick: "To us, electric mobility means dynamics and driving pleasure"


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 (12.92-mile) 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.

"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. Dick, who completed a fast lap himself in the R8 e-tron, added: "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."

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 515 kW (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 (62.14 mph) in just 4.6 seconds. Its top speed is normally limited to 200 km/h (124.27 mph); 250 km/h (155.34 mph) 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 (133.59 miles). 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 (3,924.23 lb), 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 (124.27 mph). At 8:30.873 and 8:26.096 minutes, both laps were well under the important nine-minute threshold.

"The record drives were a fantastic experience for me," said Markus Winkelhock. The 32-year-old, who lives near Stuttgart, has a high standard for comparison – the Audi R8 LMS ultra, in which he, along with Marc Basseng, Christopher Haase and Frank Stippler, won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring a few weeks ago.

"Of course, the R8 e-tron is a production car, not a racing car with the assistance of aerodynamics," Winkelhock emphasized. "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 make hardly 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 powered wheels – really helps me."

Michael Dick proudly summed up events after the record-setting drive at the Nürburgring. "Within just a few weeks we've taken on some big challenges and in the process we've shown that we are at the forefront with all of our drive concepts," he said, adding:"We won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in May in the Audi R8 LMS ultra with a ten-cylinder engine.

In mid-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 vehicle 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 there is."


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  • 19 Comments
      robespierex
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is impressive considering it's not a hybrid, but solely electric. So I think it is historical and a lot of hard work and engineering went into it's development. They deserve a lot of credit - that's a respectable time. And no other traditional car mfg is making a completely electric super car. 918, i8, NSX, all hybrids. Only Tesla makes something similar, and that's all they do. This is a pretty amazing car. I wouldn't mind knowing what 3000 ft lbs of torque feels like.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        graphikzking
        • 2 Years Ago
        Umm.. it's the very first electric R8 that Audi has made. How many Renault's have been made? What generation? Give them time. If the next generation of battery is 20% lighter and 20% more storage (lithium versus nimh was a HUGE difference of nearly 50%) then it should cut down weight by approx 150lbs and give a better range of 200miles. The BMW 7 series is also slower then that Renault - does that mean BMW should stop making the 6 and 7 series? Congrats to audi - Can't wait to see the 1st sub 8 minute run!
      AcidTonic
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's not impressive. A 2006 289hp Lancer Evolution 9 ran an 8:11 in the pouring rain on a tourist track day. It's on video even. This thing has more power, better chassis, 6 years newer, and that's all it ran? Not trying to troll but a turbo 2 liter econobox shouldn't run alongside an R8 supercar.
        Julle85
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        Is it Lancer EVO 9 a electric-car? I can tell you. No isnt. Its kind of stupid to compare a EVO 9 and the R8 E-Tron between. EVO 9 has good power to weight ratio, thats why is good in tracks.
        icon149
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        it's electric... and therefore heavy. If you don't mean to troll then stop trolling. Why doesn't Mitsubishi make an electric lancer to run a faster time. it obviously shouldn't be tough.
          AcidTonic
          • 2 Years Ago
          @icon149
          Their pikes peak racer is AWD and electric. They also made theirs first.
        David J. Bernstein
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        I love it when people don't bother reading the article and then comment on it. Makes them look so clueless and frankly dumb. No offense.
        Will
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        The Evo 9 shouldn't just be labeled an "econobox". It's impressive in its own right and has been known to trump cars that cost much. much more.
      Tina Dang
      • 2 Years Ago
      Audi is truly amazing. Record after record, award after award.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      H
      • 2 Years Ago
      I want to see this fabled Nürburgring record book that everyone keeps talking about. Someone post me a link.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @H
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      tomtom
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hopefully other Manufactures will do the same and compete for the title. A new Ford GT offered it in Gas and Electric. A new Corvette Volt or Cadilac. Viper Gas and Electric. Note Audi is not the first to get a production electric lap record around the Ring.
      AddLightness
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wanna see the Tesla Model S Performance top this time :)
      icon149
      • 2 Years Ago
      the speed limiter is a bit interesting, 200kph on the autobahn isn't that fast, i wonder if the german version will have a 250 kph limiter instead of 200. I used to run 210 in an old Mercedes A class, 1.6 litre on the autobahn. it didn't have cruise control so it was easier just to leave my foot on the floor board. be pretty embarrassing if this thing couldn't pass all the fords and opels on the autobahn.
      Sukairain
      • 2 Years Ago
      134 miles range? hmmmm~ Drive it like a proper sport car and that range will likely drop dramatically. Also I was expecting the E-Tron to look quite a bit different from the standard R8, especially after seeing the stunning concept. It's an impress time, but for the price they are asking and the lack of differentiation with standard R8, I don't see too many takers of the production E-Tron. Say..... they say it's production electric car record, is the R8 E-Tron officially for sale?
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