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MINI E Race Laps Nurburgring in 09:51.45 [Video]

Electric MINI racer reaches a top speed of 187 km/h

MINI has become the first automaker to run a competitive electric race car at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife track.

The MINI E Race, a fully electric vehicle, lapped the 20.8 km (12.9 mile) track known as the Green Hell in 9 minutes and 51.45 seconds. The car was piloted by former DTM race driver Thomas Jäger and reached a top speed of 187 km/h (116 mph) during the run.

The E Race features the same 150 kW/204 hp electric motor, powered by lithium-ion batteries, that comes in the standard MINI E. But a new helical gearbox with a longer gear ratio was added and the engine management software was tuned for improved performance. Other modifications were also made to make it race-ready, including a "special lightweight body", a roll cage and performance brakes, suspension and tires.

On the outside a carbon fiber rear wing and various diffusers were added.

Source: MINI

Green power through the Green Hell.

Munich/Nürburg. Taking on the infamous Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit at race speed with an electrically powered car is an ambitious project, but the BMW Group has just become the first car manufacturer to make it happen. Today the MINI E Race, a modified race-spec version of the standard MINI E, completed a lap of the legendary 20.8 km "Green Hell" in a time of 09:51.45 minutes. The MINI E Race hit a top speed of 187 km/h.

"The length and profile of the Nordschleife place extreme demands on the technology of our electric car. But the MINI E Race met this considerable challenge with great authority," said the BMW Group's Peter Krams, who headed up the project. "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."

At the wheel of the electric racer for the hot lap was former DTM racing driver Thomas Jäger from Munich. "I've driven this circuit many times, but never in such an extraordinary car," said Jäger, the MINI Challenge champion in 2006. "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."

Extensive preparations had to be completed before the car could roll out onto the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The MINI E Race was fitted with a special lightweight body and a roll cage in order to ensure optimum performance and safety on the track. And various other components, such as the suspension, brakes and tyres, are also race specification. Other than that, however, the car relies almost exclusively on the standard technical make-up of the MINI E. For example, it shares the same 150 kW/204 hp electric motor, supplied with energy from 5,088 lithium-ion battery cells. The control electronics and the software were reprogrammed to achieve an optimal driving performance for the Nordschleife. The power from the emission-free motor is channelled to the front wheels via a single-stage helical gearbox with a lengthened gear ratio.

MINI E Race conversions:

Interior

Recaro Pro Racer (HANS) CFRP seat, 6-way safety harness (3-inch), suede leather steering wheel 320 mm diameter

Roll cage

Bolt construction (lightweight) CrMo4, approx. 35 kg incl. mounting materials

Transmission

Mechanical multi-plate limited-slip differential with 40°/50° ramp breakover angle, 55 Nm preload

Engine

Adjusted engine management settings

Suspension

KW Variant 3 coilover suspension, tuned to the higher axle loads of the MINI E Race with modified damping characteristics and adjusted springs

Exterior

Diffusers, rear wing, CFRP body parts

Safety

Integration of special race ABS
Differentiated main switch concept

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Comments (5)

 fusion01 fusion01
this is good stuff
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April 19, 2010 10:06 am
 prowler97 prowler97
Lets see what a STOCK Tesla Roadster S will do?
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April 13, 2010 1:55 pm
 Mikeado Mikeado
Hang on, gearbox?
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April 13, 2010 11:39 am