Audi R8 e-tron Sets World Lap Record At Nürburgring

Audi says its pending all-electric R8 e-tron has set a world record lap time on the 20.8-kilometer (12.92-mile) Nürburgring Nordschleife track of 8:09.099.

The dual-motor, rear-wheel-drive record-setting car is said to have the same 375 horsepower, 605-pound-feet torque design as the production car due at the end of this year, but its governed top speed was turned up from 125 mph to 155 mph for the run.

“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.”

Back in April spy photos were circulating of the car testing at the famous track, and last week Audi announced the 8:09.099 lap time that compares with the current combustion-engined production car record of 7:11.57.

The substantially quicker time was set by a Gumpert Apollo Sport powered by a 700 horsepower Audi V8 gasoline engine, but Audi says it is pleased the electric car easily topped the 9-minute threshold on repeated runs.

As for other more ordinary benchmarks, the R8 e-tron accelerates from 0-62 mph in 4.6 seconds, and in normal operation, Audi says the T-shaped 49-kwh lithium-ion battery installed in the center tunnel similar to a Chevy Volt’s battery enables the e-tron to travel 133 miles (215 km) on a full charge.

By way of comparison, Tesla’s Model S comes with one of three different batteries, in 40-kwh, 60-kwh, and 85-kwh configurations and on the high side offers 265 miles EPA-estimated range and comparable or better 0-62 times for the larger battery models. Or, looking at the more-similar but now discontinued Tesla Roadster, that car got an EPA-estimated 244 miles from its 53-kwh battery pack and was said to sprint from 0-62 in under 4 seconds.

Naturally, the Audi R8 e-tron utilizes regenerative braking, and its body is mostly made of aluminum along with CFRP carbon fiber yielding a total curb weight of 3,924 pounds which is right in line with the V10-powered R8 5.2 FSI Spyder.

Another comparison to Audi’s e-tron would be to an even higher tier gas-powered counterpart. The $196,800-plus V10-powered Audi R8 GT weighs between 3,540-3,740 pounds, and puts out 560 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque.

Naturally, we’ll wait also for real world testing by third-party testers, but while down on rated horsepower at 375, but offering full torque of 606 pound-feet from a standstill, the R8 e-tron promises to be a thrill ride on par with conventional high-performance sports car parameters.