Someone had to do it. Be the first to drive an electric car at the Nürburgring, on the famous Nordschleife track. BMW engineers are taking the lead, but they have a long, long way to go if they ever plan to catch up with cars running on gasoline.
The lap time was not that great: 09:51.45. According to Fastests laps, a Mini John Cooper Works (208-hp, the fastest of all Minis) ran on the same track in 8:35. The electric Mini had the stock 204-hp motor, but its tires, brakes and suspension were uprated for racing, and it also had a special lightweight body and a roll cage in order to ensure optimum performance and safety on the track. With this in mind, that lap time is a disappointment. The driver was Thomas Jäger, a former DTM racing champion, he knows very well the Nurburgring, but his talent couldn’t offset the more than 500 pounds the electric drivetrain adds to the Mini.
In 2003, according to Fastests laps again, a Volkswagen Golf 1.9 TDI (yes, a diesel) did it in 9:42, and that was with a Golf from the past generation…
We all know, and we are all convinced that electric cars are perfect for city use, but we shall know as well that technology has to make a huge leap forward, before an electric motor could compete with an internal combustion engine on a racetrack.