For the time being, Toyota may hold the overall world record for electric vehicles at the Nürburgring Nordschleife with the road-legal EV P001 prototype at 7:47.794, but Audi claims to have earned the bragging rights for the fastest lap in a series production model with the R8 e-tron.
The soon-to-be launched electric-powered R8 completed the 20.8-kilometer (12.92-mile) long Nürburgring circuit in the hands of racing driver Markus Winkelhock in 8:09.099 minutes.
However, dug deep within Audi's press statement we find that the record-breaking R8 e-tron is the same as the upcoming production model in all but one aspect: whereas the production model's top speed will be limited to 200km/h (124mph), Ingolstadt's engineers removed the speed controller from the 'Ring model allowing it to reach 250 km/h (155 mph) in the record-setting lap.
Even so, Audi says that it also set another record on the Nordschleife as Winkelhock drove two fast laps in one go in a second R8 e-tron that featured the 200 km/h (124.27 mph) speed limiter recording lap times of 8:30.873 and 8:26.096.
"The record drives were a fantastic experience for me," said Markus Winkelhock. "Of course, the R8 e-tron is a production car, not a racing car with the assistance of aerodynamics. But with its low center of gravity and rear biased weight distribution, it brings with it a lot of sporty qualities."
The e-tron version of the R8 is fitted with two electric motors, one on each axle. Both of the car’s electric motors produce an output of 280 kW (375hp) and 820 Nm (605 lb-ft) of torque, with Audi claiming that more than 4,900 Nm (3,614.05 lb-ft) are distributed to the rear wheels nearly from a standing start.
The car weighs 1,780 kilograms (3,924.23 lb) including the lithium-ion batteries that offer a driving range of up to about 215 kilometers (136 miles).
The automaker quotes a 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint of 4.6 seconds and as mentioned previously, a restricted top speed of 200km/h (124mph) for the production model.