Not that there was much competition.
Last month, the Audi R8 e-tron—you know, the eerily silent electric version of Tony Stark's ride—set a new Nürburgring Nordschleife record by becoming the fastest production electric car to ever lap the famed circuit. The only caveat to that little claim: No other production car has ever tried. So it's kind of like a high school junior claiming his girlfriend is the best lay he's ever had.
Giving electric sports cars an appropriate sonic footprint.
What should the car of tomorrow sound like? For the last century, the internal combustion engine has been the lead musician in the symphony of automotive noise, but with electric motors poised to take a larger role in pushing cars around in the future, engineers have to find new ways to bring auditory character to 21st Century vehicles.
It's all about the quattro.
From the Auto Union race cars of the 1930s to the Le Mans prototypes of the 21st Century, Audi has a racing legacy many manufacturers would kill for. But their greatest contribution to the realm of automotive competition can be boiled down to one word: quattro.
But you probably won't be able to buy one.
Should the idea of a truly electric sports car appeal to you, be happy—Audi's electric version of the R8 will be reaching showrooms sometime in 2012. If you have a huge pile of money, you might even be able to park one in your driveway—but it doesn't look like you'll be able to buy it.
Gotta give Audi credit, because their 2012 LMP1-class contender combines three technologies most car companies wouldn't squish together, even in the focus-group-free world of racing: all-wheel-drive, hybrid drive, and a turbodiesel engine. Hey, if this year's Le Mans car doesn't work out, they could always make one hell of an SUV out of the leftovers.