Audi R8 e-tron sets a record for electric vehicles on Nurburgring

Article by Christian A., on June 30, 2012

Audi’s R8 e-tron was at the Nürburgring Nordschleife where it set a world record for a production vehicle with an electric drive system. The record was achieved by racing driver Markus Winkelhock who drove the high-performance, all-electric-drive sports car around the 20.8-kilometer (12.92-mile) track in only 8:09.099 minutes. The Nürburgring is the most difficult test track in the world too, making this feat even more impressive.

Audi has also been able to reach another milestone after having had overall wins at the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and Le Mans. In comparison, the present record lap driven by a combustion engined production of 7:11.57 minutes was made possibly with a Gumpert Apollo Sport, which in turn is powered by 515 kW (700 hp) Audi V8 gasoline engine.

The production model that will be launched at the market towards the end of 2012 is the same as the vehicle that Markus Winkelhock drove at the track. Its drive system goes with every detail with that of the production model that will be seen in the market at the end of 2012. This car has its usual electric motors to deliver 230 kW and 820 Nm of torque. Over 4,900 Nm (3,614.05 lb-ft) are sent to the rear wheels from a standing start. The Audi R8 e-tron can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 4.6 seconds. It can have a regularly limited top speed. It can achieve 200 km/h (124.27 mph); 250 km/h (155.34 mph), which got approval for the record-setting lap.

The R8 e-tron’s stores will have to be planned out well. It comes with 49 KWh of energy – which is sufficient for the distance of around 215 kilometers (133.59 miles). Because of its T shape, it can be installed in the center tunnel and in the area position between the passenger compartment and the rear axle.

It is charged by energy recovery during coasting and braking. The ultralight car body of the Audi R8 e-tron consists mainly of d aluminum, along with CFRP components . This is the main reason why the high-performance sports car could only weigh 1,780 kilograms (3,924.23 lb), even with the large battery.

One feature that customers will surely love on the Audi R8 e-tron is the 42:58 weight distribution. With this, it allows this vehicle to have that athletic handling. Further, the battery has not only been placed in the middle of the axles but positioned in a way that it results in a low center of gravity. Even the chassis has new features. Made from glass-fiber-reinforced polymer, or GFRP, the coil springs in the front weigh 2.65 lbs. (1.2 kg) while the ones in the rear measure 2.87 lbs. (1.3 kg).

This means that compared to steel springs, they are lighter by 40%. Meanwhile, the wheel hubs in the rear are made up of forge titanium which means an additional 1.32 lbs. (0.5 kg) of weight saved.

Even the anti-roll bar, which has been placed on the front, contribute to the weight savings. Since the tube is composed of CFRP while the shanks make use of aluminum, the whole thing weighs at around 5.52 lbs. (2.5 kg), a reduction of 35%. Going to the wheel brakes, the ones on the front make use of a hydraulic brake system. It has two vacuum pumps that operate in order to give the needed partial vacuum.

The discs themselves are made up of carbon fiber ceramic. Meanwhile the ones in the rear are electromechanical screw brakes. Both electrically controlled and activated, the ball screw is the one that presses the pads on the discs, at a really fast rate. The 19-inch wheels are fitted with the 225/35 and the 275/35-sized tires, both of which have their rolling resistance optimized.

In addition, when the car reaches at least 31 mph (around 50 km/h), the centrifugal forces adjust the flaps and thereby close the openings and they are opened again once the speed slows down. This active aerodynamics on the wheels lower the Cd value by 0.02. Audi revealed that celebrated race car driver Markus Winkelhock used the R8 e-tron and ran in on the Nürburgring North Loop.

The result is that he achieved two new records with the first one being the fastest single lap 8:09.099 and the second being the fast two successive laps with a time of 16:56.966. For the single lap, Winkelhock used the sport tires that were guaranteed for 155 mph (250 km/h) with the double lap utilizing the standard tires with 124 mph (200 km/h).

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