The Audi R8 e-tron has lapped the Nurburgring 5sec slower than the naturally aspirated 4.2 V8; on sale end 2012 from around £160k
29 June 2012

Audi has revealed its upcoming Audi R8 e-tron has lapped the Nurburgring in an impressive 8mins 9sec or just 5sec slower than the company’s conventional 424bhp 4.2-litre V8 powered Audi R8 at the hands of former grand prix driver Marcus Winkelhock during a recent round of testing at the legendary German circuit.

The lap time is described by Audi as a world record for a production car with electric drive.

It beats the 9min1sec mark set by Peugeot with its one-off EX1 concept car back in April. A subsequent attempt by Toyota in an electric powered Radical race car called the TMG EV P001 netted a non-production car Nürburgring lap time of 7mins48sec.

The German car maker also says its Mercedes-Benz SLS E-cell rivaling electric powered two seater will romp to 62mph from standstill in just 4.7sec – just one tenth of a second slower than its more conventional petrol powered sibling, proving the new car, which Audi hints will cost upwards of €200,000 or £160,000, won’t lack for overall performance when sales begin later this year.

Set to get its first public airing in production guise at the Paris motor show in September, the R8 e-tron shares its appearance with the standard R8. But the changes made to accommodate its two rear electric motors and lithium ion battery pack as well as a series of lightweight construction measures and altered suspension are sufficient enough that Audi’s outgoing head of development, Michael Dick, describes it as being all-new.

“Don’t let the styling fool you. The construction, drivetrain and chassis have been completely altered. It is essentially an all-new car – from the ground up, says Dick.

At the heart of the R8 e-tron, which Audi will place into limited production at the end of 2012, is a pair of mid-rear mounted synchronous electric motors – one for each wheel. Developing a total of 376bhp and sturdy 605lb ft of torque, they draw energy from a 550kg lithium ion battery mounted within the middle tunnel and provide direct drive to the rear wheels. In normal every day driving the hi-tech drivetrain is said to provide an overall range over 200km.

Electricity used to charge the batteries is recuperated on the run via an energy recovery system that works in combination with the R8 e-tron’s carbon ceramic brake system as well as a plug-in arrangement via a socket mounted in the new Audi’s left-hand side bodywork.

To off-set the added weight brought on by the battery pack, Audi has also provided its new zero emission supercar with a reworked spaceframe structure that incorporates both aluminium and carbon fibre as well as new composite plastic components within the suspension and a reworked interior with carbon fibre backed seats among other changes. In production guise it is claimed to weigh 220kg more than the R8 V8 at 1780kg.

The R8 e-tron is among a raft of new performance orientated electric cars inspired by the Telsa roadster and set to enter the market within the next 12 months. Its keenest rival is the Mercedes-Benz SLS E-cell, which packs a quartet of electric motors – one for each wheel – and is claimed to develop and even more prodigious 525bhp and 649lb ft of torque.

Our Verdict

Audi R8 V8

It may not have a posh badge, but when it comes to what really matters the R8 has what it takes to hold its head high among supercar rivals

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Comments
9

29 June 2012

Looks like the future is arriving faster than I thought.  Although limited in late 2012 this will sort-of bring Audi the world of electric power, VW next

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

29 June 2012

Audi R8 look great!

29 June 2012

Whilst this showcases that electric power can be utilised in supercars (for the wealthy), what of the masses? ... Where are the electric/hybrid cars that we CAN afford? ... Granted, there are some trickling onto the market now (like the Toyota Yaris and Nissan Leaf), but it all comes across as someone wanting to us not to have them ...

29 June 2012

Electric power and supercar could be a growing legacy in the future. It can make them more friendly in the city centres, where not everybody like their howls and gas exausts, think at central London. Moreover the lack of range is less important that in ordinary cars as many supercars see low mileages and are used on fixed days. It is not an issue full charging them on Friday night if you are planning a day trip on Saturday. The added budget allowed by the high retail price for these kind of cars can also permt the use of more exotic materials, important to keep the weight down.

Getting high power from electric engines is not a problem, the issue is keeping their energy consumption low, as the batteries are still really poor in terms of storing energy. The energy/mass ratio is still ridicolous.

 

 

29 June 2012

matsoc wrote:

Getting high power from electric engines is not a problem, the issue is keeping their energy consumption low, as the batteries are still really poor in terms of storing energy. The energy/mass ratio is still ridicolous.

The advantages of the electic motor are ridiculous (ridiculously good),  80-percent efficient compared to 20% for the petrol motor. 

Regarding the enery/mass ratio, when used in a car remember to compare like with like so you'd need to add in the weight petrol, drive shafts, petrol tank,  engine,  gearbox, cooling and clutch and then compare it to 2 electric motors and a battery.

Hopefully the weight and range issue will be resolved by better/lighter batteries and using a small petrol engine as a generator like the TaTa concept

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

29 June 2012

The price,seems every new inovation these days is the price of 1 bedroom flat,and it's the same price as the new Vanquish,what would we have just now?

Peter Cavellini.

29 June 2012

Peter Cavellini wrote:

The price,seems every new inovation these days is the price of 1 bedroom flat,and it's the same price as the new Vanquish,what would we have just now?

The Audi, as new Vanquish just seems so old tech now

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

29 June 2012

This should make a nice company car for company directors in London - no BIK tax until 2015 and no congestion charge.

1 July 2012

Another car that shows electric-only powered cars still have a long way to go to be good enough to replace internal combustion. Only 125 miles or so, from more than half a ton of batteries, surely cannot be considered good.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

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