A 39-year-old FIA World Electric Land Speed Record has fallen to a sleek, green electric machine called the Lola. Officially the Drayson B12 69/EV electric Le Mans Prototype, the 1000-kilogram (2,204-pound) race car hit a top speed of 204.185 miles per hour yesterday at RAF Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, England. That's over 29 mph faster than the previous record of 175 mph that was set in 1974 by Battery Box General Electric.

"I'm delighted we've beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable."

Completing two runs down the three-kilometer track, Lord Paul Drayson piloted the finely tuned, 850-horsepower EV to the record-setting run. Afterwards, the proud driver said, "I'm delighted we've beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable. It is not the outright speed of 204.185mph that is most impressive about this record, but the engineering challenge of accelerating a 1000kg electric vehicle on a short runway over a measured mile." The car has a 30-kWh battery and ran on confidential-specification LM P1 Michelin tires. You can see a video of the run below.

Of course, there are records and then there are records. The Ohio State University Buckeye Bullet, for example, is an EV that has topped 300 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. But, according to the FIA, Drayson is now the team to beat. We have to assume that someone will try to snag the title before another four decades are up. Nissan, perhaps?



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Drayson Racing sets a new FIA World Land Speed record

Drayson Racing is proud to announce that it has set a new World Electric Land Speed Record of 204.185mph this evening.

Former science minister, businessman and racing driver Lord Drayson was behind the wheel of the Drayson B12 69/EV electric Le-Mans PrototypeIn near perfect conditions, the Oxford-based sustainable motorsport company smashed the previous 175mph record, which had stood for nearly forty years, by 29.2mph.

As the new world record holder, Lord Drayson commented:
"I'm delighted we've beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable. Drayson Racing is a laboratory for EV technology, testing it to the most extreme level, as we've seen today."

"It is not the outright speed of 204.185mph that is most impressive about this record, but the engineering challenge of accelerating a 1000kg electric vehicle on a short runway over a measured mile. However I've got a great team and world-class partners, such as QualcommHalo, Michelin, Multimatic and Cosworth."

"This is a true celebration of Britain's leading position within the burgeoning electric vehicle industry and I'm delighted to be at the forefront of this electric revolution. We hope to set more records tomorrow. "

Drayson Racing is a research and development business, pioneering the development of sustainable technologies in the challenging environment of motorsport. With the electric land speed record it intends to showcase what is possible with an electric drivetrain and underscore Britain's leadership position in the EV industry.

The team aim to set more records, such as the EV acceleration record, tomorrow Wednesday 26 June, after which a full release with all data and FIA confirmed records will be issued.


MICHELIN Le Mans tyres carry Drayson to world record

Following the announcement earlier this month of a strategic partnership between Drayson Racing Technologies and MICHELIN, Lord Drayson was successful in his bid to break the World Electric Land Speed Record for a car under 1,000kg by posting an average of 204.185mph over two runs completed within one hour.

At the weekend, MICHELIN's LM P1 tyres helped Audi to victory in the 90th Le Mans 24 hour race and last night the same tyres carried Drayson Racing's electric race car to a new electric land speed record.

The Drayson B12 69/EV electric Le Mans Prototype smashed the previous 175mph record, which had stood for 40 years, by 29.2mph. The record-breaking run took place at Elvington Airfield near York last night.

The MICHELIN tyres used by Drayson Racing were confidential-specification LM P1 tyres which have been developed for the sustained high speeds encountered in endurance racing and were designed in association with world-class endurance racing teams such as Audi and Toyota. The sizes were 33/68-18 front and 37/71-18 rear.

The tyre design chosen for the record attempt offered performance characteristics optimised for the conditions of the challenge and followed MICHELIN's Total Performance ethos by managing to combine these often conflicting requirements.

They needed to offer high traction levels to enable the car to accelerate to maximum speed as quickly as possible; good stability to enable the car to safely run with minimal down-force; and excellent braking performance to ensure the car could be stopped safely before the end of the runway.

This isn't the first record for an electric vehicle fitted with MICHELIN tyres. In 1899 La Jamais Contente broke the 100km/h barrier fitted with the Company's pneumatic tyres when most cars were still running on solid tyres.


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  • 30 Comments
      AUTO WORLD
      • 1 Year Ago
      2012 Lexus GS http://gt36.blogspot.com/2012/04/2012-lexus-gs.html ............................................................. infiniti M56 http://gt36.blogspot.com/2012/05/infiniti-m56.html ............................................................. KTM-X-BOW http://gt36.blogspot.com/2012/05/ktm-x-bow.html .......................................................... 2011 Audi R8 GTS http://gt36.blogspot.com/2012/05/2011-audi-r8-gts.html ........................................................... TOYOTA SIENNA http://gt36.blogspot.com/2012/05/toyota-sienna.html ........................................................... Cadillac CTS Sport Sedan http://gt36.blogspot.com/2012/05/cadillac-cts.html ........................................................... Ferrari Enzo http://gt36.blogspot.com/2012/05/ferrari-enzo.html
      Don Dicker
      • 1 Year Ago
      The FIA has no jurisdiction for speed records that matter.
      Sebastian Tristan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kudos!!!
      sp33dklz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Anything with power from any source can be fast. High speed runs don't constitute reliability.
        Ricardo Gozinya
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        Yes, but reliability is about as interesting to report on as an estate auction of an avid pants collector.
          brotherkenny4
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          Yes, real men don't care about reliability. They need something to counteract their deficiencies or hide their underlying true nature, which they can't admit publicly because of the shame their parents would place on them. How's that Dicko?
        pavsterrocks
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        I agree with @sp33dklz though - a couple of successful high-speed runs are a great success for the team but hardly do they prove reliability. If that was the case we would all be driving 1.6 liter 1000hp engines like the F1 cars, which are probably the most reliable F1 engines ever.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        Reliability? Really? I know you are here to troll EVs but you really need to step up your game. Reliability is something EVs trounce ICE cars with. Really now . . . how often do you have to take your refrigerator in for a tune-up, an oil change, or an exhaust system repair? Never. That electric motor runs for YEARS on end with no maintenance at all.
          Cayman
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Yes, electric cars should be more reliable than ICE; but if you read the article you would see the driver claimed that this run shows that an EV can be reliable and fast. This run doesn't show the first, and the second was already known.
      Zeta
      • 1 Year Ago
      It would be interesting to pit this thing against the Nissan zeod
      Drakkon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Someone is writing outside of their expertise. The car is not called 'the Lola.' The chassis manufacturer is Lola. That's like saying a car is called 'The Ford' or 'The Ferrari.' Oh wait, wait, their new car *IS* called 'The Ferrari The Ferrari.' Who's stupid idea was that anyway?
        Breno Kelly
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Drakkon
        Exactly what I commented when they first posted, even linked them to the Lola site - still hasn't been corrected - seems unfathomable that someone writing for an auto blog would be oblivious to Lola!!
      doobadoo
      • 1 Year Ago
      coolest RC car ever
      • 1 Year Ago
      Someone has his facts wrong - the GM EV1 raised the international EV speed record to 185.322 mph in March 1994 at Fort Stockton. This was witnessed and recognised as an international record, duly recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. I am very clear about this, I was the driver and have the appropriate certificate somewhere! This record was beaten in 1997, raised to 215mph according to my memory - again, meeting the requirements to be classified as an FIA record.
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Meh Wonder why they didn't at least put aero covers on the rear wheels like they did on the front.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        I am guessing you were part of the wind tunnel testing and saw the car required it because of the turbulent airflow around that section. Or you are just half-ass guessing as usual. Let me guess, the car is overweight, over-priced, and the wrong color? Waiting for your entry. When is Tesla bankrupt again?
          Giza Plateau
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          And btw despite their billion dollar infusion they are still in jeopardy. The core problem with poor bean counting and lack of optimization mentality still remains. The billion dollars just let them mask that for a while just like the previous bailouts did.
          Giza Plateau
          • 1 Year Ago
          @m_2012
          When they didn't get the billion dollar bailout..
        Ricardo Gozinya
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        They did it just to piss you off.
          Giza Plateau
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ricardo Gozinya
          That seems unlikely but it has been known to happen :)
        Val
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Wonder? You wonder? You mean you don't know? Thought you were a self-proclaimed genius... guess not.
          Giza Plateau
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Val
          It's my gentler passive aggressive way of saying they are incompetent, if I have to spell it out for you :) Obviously 340km/h is relatively lame for 850 electric ponies although I recognize that it's in 1st gear.
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      * for this class of electric vehicle. The Buckeye Bullet 2.5 holds the world record for fastest electric vehicle. 307.905 mph http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckeye_Bullet
        TrippulG3
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Correct. In order to qualify for this record (for being a "lightweight" vehicle), it had to weigh less than 1000kg.
        paulwesterberg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Or is FIA a silly groups you pay money to have them "certify" your record. They ignore all records set by people who do not pay them fat cash. On my way home tonight I think I will set a FKD* Universe land speed record for electric vehicles in my nissan leaf. I am the sole operator of FKD racing records, I am willing to certify record attempts for a nominal fee.
      Kerry01
      • 1 Year Ago
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      Ricardo Gozinya
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yeah, but the Lightning Superbike can go 218 miles per hour, and comes in a street legal version available to the public. If you've got the $39k to shell out for one. It's also the world's fastest production motorcycle, electric or ICE.
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