Audi has long signaled its interest in getting into electric cars, but apart from the Tesla Roadster, "electric" and "ultra high-performance" really haven't gone hand in hand. That stigma will start to lift once the German automaker launches the e-tron variant of its lauded R8 later this year, and this video shows what it's like to lap the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife — a key barometer for any serious sports car — without the roar of an internal combustion engine just feet away. Even if you're not a die-hard enthusiast, it's striking to see a car moving this fast and hear virtually nothing but road noise and the occasional squeal of a corner taken at maximum attack.
Nordschleife lap times are the automotive equivalent of an Olympic 100-meter track time, a bragging right that endlessly trades hands between the world's top manufacturers. The e-tron finished in 8:09, about a minute slower than the world's most extreme production vehicles but only a few seconds off of the R8 equipped with its standard V8 power plant. The future, sports car fans, is now.