Audi R8 e-tron Spy Video: All-Electric Supercar On The Road!

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Later this year Audi will start selling its first model to bear an “e-tron” badge, the eagerly anticipated R8 e-tron all-electric supercar.

A prototype of the car was recently spotted at the Nürburgring race track in Germany and our sister site Motor Authority has just posted a video of it.

Audi is in the final stages of development of the car and performance appears to be scintillating.

What’s most interesting is the near silent drivetrain, though obviously at high speeds wind and tire noise make the R8 e-tron just as loud as any other car.

Audi is heavily committed to the development of electrified vehicles and is currently working on everything from battery-powered electrics to gas and diesel range-extended cars and even plug-in hybrids. You may recall that the automaker recently started trials of the A1 e-tron in Germany and the A3 e-tron here in the U.S., though the development of all these electrics is not without its own hurdles.

As for the R8 e-tron, it’s expected to share much in common with the handful of concept versions introduced since 2009. This means a drivetrain consisting of four electric motors with a combined output of 233 kW (313 horsepower)--enough to accelerate it from 0-60 mph in around 4.5 seconds. Top speed will be limited to just 124 mph as the amount of energy required by electric motors increases disproportionately to speed.

Powering those electric motors will be an array of lithium-ion batteries that provide an energy content of about 42 kWh, which should provide a driving range of around 150 miles. Audi is predicting a full recharge will take approximately 6 to 8 hours. The battery alone is said to be around 1,000 pounds but Audi is working with lightweight materials, particularly aluminum, to ensure an overall curb weight for its R8 e-tron of around 3,500 pounds.

Audi has previously stated that the R8 e-tron will probably be its most expensive model, which is understandable as the car will be largely hand-built and its sales limited to just 1,000 units.

Look out for the reveal of the Audi R8 e-tron in production guise later this year.


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Comments (10)
  1. Wonder what the timescale is for Tesla's upcoming sports car. It will follow the Model X, which is due out in 1213. I am pretty sure that von Holzhausen has already begun designing the car. Like the Model X, it will piggyback on the existing chassis, and its drive train will surely replicate the Model S Signature Performance model. All that argues for a very rapid development - mostly sheet metal and interior. This Audi won't have the field to itself for very long. And one can also assume the Tesla's driving range will be greater : 150 miles doesn't hack it. And 6 to 8 hours as its fastest recharge can't be right. Much too slow.
    I don't see it able to compete against the Tesla sports car, but we'll see.

  2. I'd say it already doesn't compete with Teslas sedan. The Model S will be faster to 60, faster to charge, has more range, and is cheaper.

  3. Yea, but it doesn't carry that overpriced, overhyped badge.

  4. Let's see, one global OEM that already sells millions of vehicles (VW, obviously, not just Audi) and is profitable now versus a startup that is bleeding money and has limited resources in comparison. Oh, that same company doesn't have dealers in most states and getting service will be more difficult for many customers.

    By selling 30k vehicles at tops in the next 2-3 years, how exactly is Tesla going to make the billions necessary to pay for warranty repairs (yes, they will happen), build dealers, compete with the R & D budgets of BMW, VW, etc...?

    Love Tesla but I'll need more evidence they'll be around in 5-7 years before I buy one. Many others agree. But I still hope I'm wrong about Tesla's chances.

  5. I could see Tesla being bought out or partnering with one of the big boys in the next few years.
    They've done a remarkable job but perhaps its time to get some real auto design and quality control expertise.

  6. I haven't heard anything negative about Tesla’s Quality control yet. I did however hear about a Model S prototype that had a poorly fitting door panel and dashboard but let's see what the production Model S brings before we say that their fit and finish is inferior to other automakers However Fisker certainly did have some problems with poorly fitting body panels on the Fisker Karma. Since the Model S will be expensive at $77,000 for a 300-mile range edition it has to be of comparable quality to other $77,000 gasoline vehicles if they expect to sell them. Even cheap econoboxes have good fit and finish today compare to what was being built 10 years ago.

  7. If I were in the market for a $77,000 dollar EV I would buy the Model S. It is the best EV right now bar none. It's 300 mile range for the Signature edition will allow you to almost never need to use a gasoline powered car again. Once there is a quick recharge infrastructure in place you could even drive cross-country with it. It is the best EV that you can get right now. No other EV maker can compete with Tesla for they are light years ahead of everyone else. Yes they are expensive but they have a great product and I hope they are able to sell every Model S they can make for I am looking forward to the $30,000 blue star which will only make it to the light of day if the Model S is successful

  8. So...almost a second slower to 60 than the Tesla Roadster and 100 miles less range...Guess the car arrives just to late in the game to impress with numbers like this.

    And about "Audi is heavily committed to the development of electrified vehicles", maybe the author isn't aware they just cancelled the all-electric Audi A2, and the range-extended A1 e-tron.

    On the upside: the EV industry can really use a car that makes EVs cool again after all fud in the media and this would definitely contribute immensely.

  9. Chris, I'll agree with you 100%, although I think the R8 is much better looking than the Tesla, which is pretty nice itself. I wouldn't be too skeptical about Audi's commitment since it's got other EV projects moving forward and it was obvious they weren't going to develop 4-5 new EVs at the same time and bring them to market.

    But overall, as always, new EVs are good and help technical development and just showing the haters out there what is possible. One more cool design is great, even if another may be a better choice for many.

  10. Well, unless you are comparing the R8 to the Roadster, they are not even competing. The R8 is a two seater like the Roadster. The Model S is a sedan. Kinda embarrasing when a sedan kicks your sports car's ass.

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