After the E-tron concept and the E-tron Detroit Show car, Audi has brought us the e-tron technology platform based on the R8 from the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. This has turned out to be more than just a publicity stunt or science experiment. Audi is serious about bringing this car to market and has taken the time to develop a completely new ideology behind this electric R8 and the normal gasoline version.
Audi's electric tech may soon find its way under the hoods of their other cars like their flagship A8.
Having the exterior design of the car already completed and in supercar form it was an easier job for the Audi engineers to develop an electric version than if they would have had to start from scratch. The mid-engine design of the R8 provides the perfect location to store heavy batteries without distorting the weight balance that Audi wanted to achieve. In essence, this electric version should be able to compete on the same levels as its V8 and V10 brothers, but will it be as exhilarating?
That all depends on what the driver sees as excitement – The V10 version will provide an unbridled amount of power and harmonious soundtrack to go along with it, but the electric version will incorporate some of the most innovative technology available today. Being able to reach high top speeds in the least amount of time is the most important thing that a sports car can deliver, if it can do it by using batteries than we don’t really see a problem. If Audi can truly create an exciting Quattro experience with its new E-Tron R8 than they will have accomplished something truly special in this emerging market.
Even though the Audi R8 e-tron hasn’t officially been launched yet, it is already a world record breaker. With a lap time of 8:09.099 minutes, the R8 e-tron has just become the fastest production vehicle with an electric drive system around the Nurburgring. The car was driven to success by racing driver Markus Winkelhock.
"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."
It’s been a little over a month since the Audi R8 e-Tron lapped the Nurburgring in record time (see previous update), but Audi has just released the video of the epic achievement. Check out Markus Winkelhock and the Audi R8 e-Tron as the record is created by clicking on the image above.