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Peugeot's EX1 electric concept breaks Nurburgring Nordschleife lap record

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May 5, 2011

Peugeot's EX1 electric concept

Peugeot's EX1 electric concept

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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.

7 Comments

It is as though they built an aerodynamic vehicle, then chopped it up to appeal to vulgar and illiterate tastes. The essential narrower rear track seems to be all that is left. Why were the wheel wells left open? Really, is a GRILL necessary? The boat tail is unfinished (or what, removed?). It seems likely that no regard was given to the underside of this machine, either.

TogetherinParis
5th May, 2011 @ 09:24 am PDT

OMG THIS THING LOOKS SOOOOOO COOL!!!!!

Nacho Lotitto
5th May, 2011 @ 01:37 pm PDT

They may have left some panels off to reduce mass, or for maintenance access while racing and the grill is necessary for cooling the radiator (even efficient electric motors get hot - heat is an inevitable byproduct of work).

As for aerodynamics vs. styling - beyond the front wheel arches, the laminar flow will be messed up anyway and, some would argue, that 'lean, mean and businesslike' stripped-down style can look more exciting than a (maybe) more beautiful, sleek, fully-faired and streamlined body.

Vehicle body design tends always to be a compromise between light weight (energy-saving under acceleration) and aerodynamic fairing (reducing energy loss through drag at higher and sustained speeds).

Ben Grillet
6th May, 2011 @ 05:27 am PDT

since I am in the states we only just saw this vehicle on Top Gear toward the end of the last season. We watched Richard try out the seat mounted door and sit in car but like so many other concepts...didn't think I'd ever see it actually Go. One of those vehicles that looks like its traveling fast when sitting still. Why wasn't he in the bowl on the carosel I wonder. Just getting a feel for the car perhaps. The American market is about 10 years behind in what manufacturers believe to be "the American market" meaning what will sell. An efficient diesel in a small SUV that's not an overpriced Jeep/Chrysler product is what I am waiting for. Maybe this belongs on Autoblog but all well.

DmanEfest
6th May, 2011 @ 08:40 am PDT

Yes I agree it is a very silly design. Clearly the car was made solely for high speed, short distance racing. I agree it looks stupid, but most people will like it's appearance.

Since electric vehicles are toys and not practical living, it is understandable that a lot of energy is spent to make the car appealing to the idiots that care about electric cars.

Michael Mantion
6th May, 2011 @ 06:47 pm PDT

First, I like Gizmag. But were you under a tight deadline with this story or what? It is hard to see what is what in the story.

Why so much information about the Mini? You say more about it, other than the photos, which are great by the way, than the EX1. Who cares what BMW did to the Mini?

And I feel the headline is misleading in a BIG way.

Finally, I am surprised that an electric RACE vehicle cannot do better than this. I mean, it only had to go 12 miles.

Christopher Carl Booher
8th May, 2011 @ 01:59 am PDT
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