This is one of the reasons we love MINI and it’s parent company BMW. They have no reason to ever take the MINI E anywhere near the track. It’s been a success as a test bed for future cars and they’ve gotten all sorts of good press from it over the past year. But the people behind MINI (and BMW) thought; why not take the MINI E to the largest and most famous race-track in the world. And that’s not to mention how long (14 miles) and dangerous is can be. The video above is proof ridiculous ideas often result in great youtube videos. The result? 9:51 seconds.
Official Release: Making 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 20.8Â 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.