Peugeot's EX1 electric concept breaks Nurburgring Nordschleife lap record
By Jack Martin
May 5, 2011
French automotive manufacturer Peugeot is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, and has promised quite a few significant announcements before the year is out. Its first electric car, the Peugeot iOn, is a rebadged Mitsubishi iMiEV, but the EX1 concept it showed last year is all its own work and looks to be a rip-snorter of a performance car to boot. Last week, the twin-electric motored 250 kW (340 bhp) EX1 set a new electric record for the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit of 9:01.338 at an average speed of 138 km/h in adverse conditions whatsmore.
Driven by PSA-DRD tuner-technician Stéphane Caillet, the EX1 smashed the electric lap of 9:51.45 held by a Mini E by more than 50 seconds. While that's a significant achievement, it is diminished somewhat knowing that only once has an electric vehicle attempted the Nordschleife circuit and given that Mini only needed to roll up to set a new record, it probably maintained a margin of error.
Just the same, the highly-modified, lightweight Mini E was punted around the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit by former DTM racer Thomas Jager and reached a top speed of 187 km/h (116 mph) during its run last October. Though many modifications were made to the Mini E, BMW maintains it ran a standard 204 bhp (150 kW) motor.
The EX1 uses two electric motors, one on each axle, each with a peak output of 125 kW (250 kW/340 bhp in total), and an immediately available constant maximum torque of 240 Nm at the front and rear.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the gap between gas and electric lap times for the circuit to narrow to insignificance. Right now, the EX1's lap time doesn't quite put it amongst esteemed company on the lap charts, but we expect the electric lap time will be broken often in the next few years.