Following on from the Nissan Leaf story, maybe the police should get these instead. The all electric Audi R8 e-tron, which goes on sale later this year has lapped the Nurburgring circuit in 8 minutes, 9 seconds.

How fast is that? Well a conventional Audi R8 V8 managed it in 8 minutes and 4 seconds in 2007, so it is pretty much identical to the standard car. That is mighty impressive, although we should point out that the e-tron had its speed limiter raised from its standard 124 mph to 155 mph for this run.

The output of the motors is 375 bhp and 605 lb/ft of torque, which provides a zero to 62mph time of 4.6 seconds. Electricity comes from a rechargeable lithium-ion battery storing 49 KWh of energy: enough for a distance of about 133 miles. That is one big battery pack – approximately twice the size of the unit in the Nissan Leaf.

Nevertheless, extensive use of aluminium and carbon fibre has kept the weight down to 1780 kg, compared to 1565 kg of the standard R8 V8. A 200kg penalty is about as good as current technology allows, but the good news is the extra weight is very low down, so the centre of gravity of the e-tron is probably better than in the conventional model.

Incidentally, Audi also put in a lap time with the standard 124 mph speed limiter in place. It managed 8 minutes 26 seconds, which is the same as an Audi S5.