BMW has taken its MINI E all-electric hatchback to the Nurburgring. The circuit has taken on the likes of the Corvette ZR1, Nissan GT-R, and Pagani Zonda F but today, BMW's electrically powered car, the MINI E, impressed with a single lap finished in 9m 51.45s. It was also able to hit a top speed of 116 mph. Former DTM racing driver Thomas Jager from Munich was behind the wheel of this electric racer.
Jager said that it's the first time that he has driven on this circuit in "such an extraordinary car." Jager said that the power of the electric motor has "an incredible effect," since its full reserves of torques can be accessed at any time. He also applauds the silence from the drivetrain, stating that it is the "cleanest and quietest race lap"¹ he has ever driven.
Before the MINI E could hit the circuit, BMW had to complete extensive operations. To ensure optimum performance and safety on the track, the MINI E was given a special lightweight body and a roll cage.
The car also had several other components, including the suspension, brakes and tires, built to race specification. But aside from those revisions mentioned, the car is nearly standard.
MINI E Race, a modified race-spec version of the standard MINI E, has managed to complete a lap on the infamous Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit with a top speed of 187 km/h. This feat made the BMW Group the first carmaker to have an electric car cruise through the “Green Hell” at racing speeds.
In fact, the MINI E Race completed the 20.8-km circuit in just 09:51.45. Piloting the MINI E Race was former DTM racing driver Thomas Jäger, who was the MINI Challenge champion in 2006. He noted that while he had driven on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit many times, it was the first time he did it with "an extraordinary car.”
He remarked that the power of the vehicle's electric motor allows access of full reserves of torque at all times. He also noted the lack of noise from the drivetrain.
Before taking on the circuit, the MINI E Race had to undergo extensive preparations to make sure that the vehicle is ready to race, like the installation of a special lightweight body and a roll cage – for optimum performance and safety on the track.
Moreover, the MINI E Race also featured race-spec suspension, brakes and tires. Other elements remained practically the same as that of a standard MINI E, like its 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor that receives power from 5,088 lithium-ion battery cells.
However, the MINI E Race features reprogrammed control electronics and the software to ensure an optimal driving performance for the Green Hell.
Power is then transmitted to the front wheels through a single-stage helical gearbox with a lengthened gear ratio. BMW Group’s Peter Krams, project leader for the challenge, remarked that while the length and profile of the Nordschleife required extreme demands on the technology of the MINI E Race, the car was able to meet the challenge with "great authority.”
He added that the project was aimed at demonstrating the potential of the MINI E and its environment-friendly drive concept.”