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Drayson Racing Sets 204 MPH Electric World Speed Record

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On: Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 11:34AM | By: Chris Weiss

Drayson Racing Sets 204 MPH Electric World Speed Record

While it's still subject to FIA homologation, UK-based Drayson Racing has set a new World Electric Land Speed Record. Leaving the bullet-shaped streamliners to other world record outfits, Drayson did it in the B12 69/EV Le Mans prototype. Its 204.185 mph record topped the 40-year-old 175 mph standing record by nearly 30 mph.

Last year, Drayson set an electric record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and in May it announced its intentions to attack the FIA World Electric Land Speed Record,sub 1,000-kg division. The record of 175 mph was set by the Battery Box at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1974.

On June 26, Drayson announced it had successfully completed its mission. It set the 204.185 mph record at the RAF Elvington airfield in Yorkshire, UK with company founder and former UK Minister of Science Lord Drayson behind the wheel.

In addition to the engineering prowess of designing a world-record car, Drayson sought the record as a means of highlighting the performance capabilities of electric vehicles as a category. It wanted to do so in an ordinary race car, as opposed to a world-record-specific streamliner.

"The reason we are doing this is to showcase the maximum level of EV performance at the moment—and in a real racing car rather than a teardrop-shaped land speed record car," Lord Drayson said when announcing the attempt in May. "We are also demonstrating the future potential of technologies, like wireless charging, in speeding the adoption of high performance EVs."

For the land speed record run, Drayson detuned the 850-bhp, quad-motor powertrain down to 600 bhp and altered the body work for lower drag. It also used a smaller 20 kWh battery pack and dropped the weight about 100 kg to put it below the 1,000 kg threshold.

Drayson said of the record, "It is not the outright speed of 204.185 mph that is most impressive about this record, but the engineering challenge of accelerating a 1000kg electric vehicle on a short runway over a measured mile. However I’ve got a great team and world-class partners, such as QualcommHalo, Michelin, Multimatic, and Cosworth."

Watch Drayson's world record run in the video below.


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