The timing was nothing if not amusing.

No sooner had Audi let us drive its R8 e-tron electric supercar and proudly boasted of its lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, then arch-rival Mercedes-Benz stole it from under Audi's nose with its SLS AMG Electric Drive.

The striking yellow Mercedes completed a lap of the famous "green hell" in just 7 minutes, 56.234 seconds--the first sub-8 minute lap for an electric production car, and the best part of a minute quicker than Audi's effort.

If you compare the two on paper though, it's not hugely surprising.

Potent though the Audi is with 374 horsepower and over 600 pounds-feet of torque, the all-wheel drive Mercedes dominates with 522 kilowatts (740 horsepower) and a stump-pulling 737 lb-ft of torque.

While the SLS's 0-62 mph time is a mere three tenths quicker than the Audi at 3.9 seconds, its top speed is higher at 155 mph, compare to 124 mph.

That may not matter so much on the road, but on the Nordschleife's fast straights the Mercedes would quickly make up time. And torque-vectoring on all four wheels would enhance traction through the 'Ring's dozens of tricky turns.

Perhaps it helped too early in the lap at the infamous 'Flugplatz', where the driver of Audi's e-tron had a huge fishtailing moment as he landed from the jump--while the Electric Drive sailed straight through.

Check out the video to see just how fast electric cars are getting these days.

And if you'd like to see more of each supercar, read our first drive reviews of the Audi R8 e-tron and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive.


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