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Tire maker Nokian Tyres is developing a winter tire that features retractable studs.
Winter is something the Finns do well. Apparently, they also do it fast.
It has been almost two years since we first heard about the Electric RaceAbout (E-RA), but it appears that this research project by the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences is now the fastest electric car on ice.
Equipped with Nokian Tyres, the E-RA headed out to the frozen Lake Ukonjärvi in northern Finland and hit an average speed of 156.67-mph (252.09-km/h). Behind the wheel was Nokian Tyres’ test driver Janne Laitinen and the E-RA had actually topped out at 161.63-mph (260.06-km/h) on its record-setting run.
The E-RA is equipped with a 33-kWh Altairnano lithium-titanate battery, powering four electric motors with a peak output of 378-hp and a ridiculous 2,360 lb-ft of torque. Weighing in at 3,747 lbs, the prototype electric vehicle can go about 124 miles on a single charge. The E-RA also holds the record on the Nürburgring for a street-legal electric vehicle.
Watch a video of the Electric RaceAbout after the break.
[Source: Nokian Tyres]
A few weeks ago, Bentley announced that it had set a world speed record on ice in their Continental Supersports. The modified convertible hit 205.48 mph on a Finnish lakebed, which is no trifling speed. Now, obscure tire manufacturer Nokian has announced that they have bested that record by one mph, with their own special tires—in an Audi, no less.
Just like the Bentley’s record, this speed run was completed in Finland…with a Finnish driver, Janne Laitinen. The record was completed with Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 studded ice tires, commercially available in Finland (naturally). The as-yet unverified record was completed at 206.05mph in the Gulf of Bothnia, between Finland and Sweden, aboard a mildly-modified Audi RS6 sedan.
“Testing at high speeds in demanding conditions forms an important part of our winter tyre development,” said Matti Morri, Nokian technical customer service manager. ”Testing our boundaries can teach us new things, which can then be reflected in all of our products.”
If this record is legitimate, Bentley can be proud that they held onto the previous record for a mere three weeks. Those who threw down money for the Continental Supersports Ice Record Edition are starting to feel nervous, aren’t they?