A specially prepared 150kW electric powered MINI has just lapped the NÃ¼rburgring Nordschleife in under 10 minutes. The MINI E Race is based on the MINI E road car which was first announced in October 2008.
Modifications to the standard MINI E include the addition of a roll cage, KW Variant 3 suspension, MINI Challenge inspired front spoiler and rear valance, along with an optimised ECU program and race tuned ABS. As well as the add-on bits MINI was able to reduce the overall weight of the car by more than 200kg.
At the hands of racing driver Thomas JÃ¤ger the MINI E Race lapped the Ring in 9:54.45 achieving a top speed of 187km/h.
JÃ¤ger, the 2006 MINI Challenge champion said, “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.”
With the MINI E Race being a full electric vehicle this is the first car to complete a lap of the 20.8km Nordschleife circuit in race-like conditions with zero emissions. This is a great first from BMW, although there are currently no plans to enter the electric MINI in any competitive races just yet.
More pics and further detail after the break, including a brief promo video.
Green power through the Green Hell
12.04.2010, Press Release, Munich/NÃ¼rburg â€“ Taking on the infamous NÃ¼rburgring-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 â€œGreen Hellâ€ in a time of 09:51.45 minutes. The MINI E Race hit a top speed of 187 km/h.
â€œThe 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,â€ said the BMW Groupâ€™s Peter Krams, who headed up the project. â€œThe 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.â€
At the wheel of the electric racer for the hot lap was former DTM racing driver Thomas JÃ¤ger from Munich. â€œIâ€™ve driven this circuit many times, but never in such an extraordinary car,â€ said JÃ¤ger, the MINI Challenge champion in 2006. â€œThe 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 Iâ€™ve ever driven.â€
Extensive preparations had to be completed before the car could roll out onto the NÃ¼rburgring-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.
To see the video on the MINI E Raceâ€™s lap of the Nordschleife, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z3BKaGqurQ