The Audi R8 e-tron first appeared as a concept car during the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show. Since then, the project has been on and off but now, at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, the Audi R8 e-tron officially receives the green light for a limited production run.
The R8 e-tron looks more like a space ship than a production car. The overall look of the car is very futuristic and sexy. Inside this gorgeous shell, Audi engineers have shoehorned a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack, in the center tunnel, behind the passenger cell.
These batteries power two rear-mound electric motors, which generate 456 horsepower and 679 lb.ft. of torque.
All of this power is routed to the rear wheels via a single-gear transmission.
The dual electric motors have enough juice in them to propel the car to 62 mph from 0 in a respectable 3.9 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. When completely charged, the Audi R8 e-tron has a cruising range of 280 miles. However, if you opt for the low-rolling resistance tires, the top speed drops to 130 mph but that’s still fast for an all-electric car. The dynamic abilities of the car have also been enhanced by a torque-vectoring feature between the two electric motors out back.
The Audi R8 e-tron 2.0 is more powerful and efficient when compared to the original R8 e-tron. The original R8 e-tron was an AWD concept with motors behind each wheel. Combined, the four motors produced 313 horsepower and 502 lb.ft. of torque. The Audi R8 e-tron 1.0 needed 5.2 seconds to complete the 0 to 62 mph challenge.
Compared to the new R8 e-tron, the 2009 concept maxed out at 125 miles and had a driving range of 150 miles with a fully charged battery pack.
There are significant visual differences between the Audi R8 e-tron and its regular, gas powered R8 cousin. The R8 e-tron receives slimmer tires, aero-focused rims, small rear spoiler (fixed to the engine cover) and horizontal silver bars on both ends of the car. However, the interior of the R8 e-tron remains unchanged when compared to the V-10 powered R8.
According to Audi officials, the R8 e-tron will be sold from late 2015 onward but in a very limited quantity. Price is not yet undisclosed. Audi reps, at the Geneva International Motor Show, announced deliveries of the the Audi R8 e-tron will begin in 2016, but the car will not be certified for the U.S. market.
With the R8 e-tron, Audi engineers hope to develop the electric drive technology and eventually apply it towards future models to compete with Tesla’s Model S. If you are an Audi R8 enthusiast and want to learn more about the e-tron, stay tuned as we will do our best to share any further information regarding the vehicle as it becomes available to us.
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