A small Mini car that took a giant leap forward for electric cars.
The Mini E Race has become the first all-electric vehicle to complete a full lap of Germany’s famous Nurburgring at racing speed. This Mini was specially prepared to completed a lap of the 20.8km circuit, which is considered to be the toughest circuit in the world. Its time was revealed to be 9 minutes and 51.45 seconds – a minute slower than the petrol powered Cooper S. Former German touring car driver and 2006 German Mini Challenge champion, Thomas Jäger, was at the Mini E Race’s helm.
“I’ve driven this circuit many times, but never in such an extraordinary car,” said Jäger. “The power of the electric motor has an incredible effect, as you can access its full reserves of torque at all times. Another element of this fascinating experience is the lack of noise from the drivetrain. All in all, that was certainly the cleanest and quietest race lap I’ve ever driven.”
There are currently more than 600 examples of the Mini E around the world undergoing testing, but the Mini E Race was given a major overhaul to tackle the Nurburgring. Although the track car was powered by the same 200bhp electric motor, a special lightweight body was fitted to help improve its performance. Other performance additions included new suspension, brakes and tyres and a roll cage
“The length and profile of the Nordschleife (Northern loop of the Nurburgring) places extreme demands on the technology of our electric car,’’ said project leader, Peter Krams. ‘‘But the MINI E Race met this considerable challenge with great authority. The aim of this unique undertaking was to provide an impressive showcase of the great potential of the MINI E and its environment-friendly drive concept.”