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Audi R8 e-tron electric vehicle sets Nürburgring lap record

A small scale production run of the R8 e-tron will begin at the end of this year, using exactly the same powertrain as the record-setting car. This uses two electric motors, powered by a T-shaped lithium ion battery in the transmission tunnel, to generate a combined 375bhp and 605lb.ft at the rear wheels, allowing the car to accelerate to 62mph in 4.6 seconds.

For the record attempt, Audi removed the top speed limiter to allow the car to reach 155mph on the circuit. Driver Markus Winkelhock, winner of the recent Nürburgring 24-hour race, followed the record-setting lap with two laps with the limiter in place, setting times of 8:30.873 minutes and 8:26.096 minutes respectively – similar to the Audi TTS.

The R8 e-tron is made using aluminium and carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP), which allows the weight to be kept down to 1,780kg – marginally heavier than an R8 V10 Spyder, despite a heavy battery. Limiting the top speed to 124mph allows the R8 e-tron to cover 133.59 miles to a full charge.

Michael Dick, AUDI AG board member for technical development, said: ‘The R8 e-tron has given a magnificent demonstration of its potential on the toughest race track in the world. 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.’

Alex Grant

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