AUDI CLAIMS ELECTRIC 'RING LAP RECORD
R8 E-tron blitzes Nordschleife in just over eight minutes, Toyota says what about our 7:47?
Nurburgring 24-hourearlier in the year. That car, of course, still uses a 'proper' V10 petrol engine and makes a suitably thunderous noise, unlike the E-tron which, for those worried by the eerily quiet R18 E-trons at Le Mans killing the thrill of racing, represents another nail in the coffin of thrillingly noisy sports and racing cars.
Winkelhock steered the R8 E-tron to an 8:09.099-minute lap, before going out again and doing two consecutive flying laps of 8:30.873 and 8:26.096. Impressive stuff. But what about Toyota's record last year?
Based on a Radical, the Toyota-funded development hack managed 7:47.794 and is, clearly, faster than the Audi. So how is the R8 E-tron claiming the record? Well, reading the small print, it seems Audi is claiming the fastest lap for a production electric car, the limited number of R8 E-trons due to leave the Neckarsulm factory later in the year apparently giving it the right to make that claim.
"Of course, the R8 E-tron is a production car, not a racing car with the assistance of aerodynamics," says Winkelhock of the experience. "But with its low centre of gravity and rear-biased weight distribution, it brings with it a lot of sporty qualities. The torque with which the electric motors propel the car uphill beats everything that I know - even if they make hardly any noise in the process, which at the start was really a completely new experience for me."
And so the 'ring lap bragging, rivalry and spin enters the electric age... That commotion in Stuttgart? That'll be AMG charging up the SLS E-Cell, at a guess.