This is the kind of royalty that we’re all down with; not the high-society type that prefers to sit on their yachts in Monaco and enjoy the perks of being a blue blood. Nope, we don’t like those. We envy them, but we don’t like them. Who we do like is His Royal Highness Prince Leopold of Bavaria.
Despite probably having the resources to buy just about any chauffeur on the planet, the Prince is true to his roots as a racer and the type who likes to get his hands dirty. This coming weekend, he’s going to do precisely that when he troops to the Nurburgring to take a MINI E Racer out for a few laps.
Don’t mistake this man for just a royal lot who’s way in over his head. Prince Leopold is a hardcore race car driver that’s got a ton of experience under his belt - or diamond-studded belt in his case. Taking on the Green Hell with a MINI E Racer figures to be just another day in the park for Prince Leopold.
Press Release after the jump
A month ago, the MINI E Race became the first electrically-powered vehicle to tame the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife at race speed. Now the BMW Group is about to repeat this tour de force before the massed ranks of spectators at the 24-hour endurance race - relying on blue blood to accomplish it. This Saturday, 15 May, His Royal Highness Prince Leopold of Bavaria will get behind the wheel to clock up a fast - but virtually noiseless - lap of the "Green Hell".
"I’m really looking forward to this outing, particularly being able to feel the immense power of the electric motor. In my career as a racing driver I have had the honour of driving some of the most beautiful and celebrated vehicles in motor racing history. The MINI E Race represents a seamless continuation," commented the former DTM racing driver and great-great-grandson of King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
The MINI E Race is a modified race version of the series-production MINI E. To ensure optimal performance and safety out on the race track it features a special lightweight body and roll cage. Individual components such as the suspension, brakes and tyres are likewise race-specification. Other than that, the car draws almost entirely on the standard technical make-up of the MINI E. It shares the 150 kW/204 hp electric motor that is fed with energy from 5,088 lithium-ion battery cells.
The starting signal for the Nordschleife lap by HRH Prince Leopold of Bavaria will sound at around 11.15 hrs on Saturday, immediately after the MINI Challenge race that is also taking place on the support card of the 24-hour event. A video of the demo lap will be available online at approx. 18.00 hrs on the day on the YouTube channel www.youtube.com/MINI.
Recaro Pro Racer (HANS) CFRP seat, 6-way safety harness (3-inch), suede leather steering wheel 320 mm diameter
Bolt construction (lightweight) CrMo4, approx. 35 kg incl. mounting materials
Mechanical multi-plate limited-slip differential with 40°/50° ramp breakover angle, 55 Nm preload
Adjusted engine management settings
KW Variant 3 coilover suspension, tuned to the higher axle loads of the MINI E Race with modified damping characteristics and adjusted springs
Diffusers, rear wing, CFRP body parts
Integration of special race ABS
Differentiated main switch concept
- as a result of the lower ride height and weight reduction; allows smoother and more stable handling
- as a result of the longer gear ratio
- as a result of changes to the control electronics