Audi R8 e-tron Sets Nurburgring EV Record

Subject to much curiosity in the automotive world, Audi’s R8 e-tron electric sports car set a set world record today, even if the competition is relatively sparse.

Speeding around the Nurburgring with a 8:09.099 lap time, the futuristic e-tron laid claim to the fastest lap any electric vehicle can boast thus far. It did so at the hands, and feet, of  race car driver Markus Winkelhock.

“Of course, the R8 e-tron is a production car, not a racing car with the assistance of aerodynamics,” he said. “But with its low center of gravity and rear biased weight distribution, it brings with it a lot of sporty qualities.”

Some of those qualities were what helped Audi to yet another victory during this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans where the brand’s team ran two R18 e-tron cars and discovered first-hand how much the electric motors could help.

Unlike a gasoline engine, EVs don’t suffer from a torque curve, meaning instant acceleration is not only accessible, but expected.

“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,” Winkelhock said. “In places where I really need traction, the torque vectoring – the displacement of the torque between the powered wheels – really [helped] me.”

While the handsome EV managed to keep lap times under the all-important nine-second mark, it can’t compete with its V8-powered fuel chugging brother’s lap time which is five seconds faster. Given this car’s speed, we can’t help but wonder how quickly the Rimac Concept One would do it.

Set to debut this fall at the Paris Auto Show, there’s still plenty to learn about Audi’s performance EV and we’ll be watching.