Audi’s head of technical development, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, has confirmed that the new R8 supercar, due next year, will be offered as an all-electric e-tron model with a range of 250 miles. A plug-in hybrid variant, using a development of the powertrain from the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4, is also under consideration.
The new R8 will use a slightly stretched version of the Lamborghini Huracan’s aluminium and carbon-fibre chassis, and come with a choice of V8 and V10 engines. However, the e-tron version has been a pet project of Hackenberg’s ever since he took over his new role in June 2013.
The first R8 e-tron concept appeared in 2009, and was originally slated for a 2013 launch, but the project was canned by Hackenberg’s predecessor Wolfgang Durheimer. Hackenberg revived the project and set a target of 400km (250 miles) before it could be sold to the public. Clearly, that target has now been reached.
And his plans don’t stop there, as a version of the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4’s plug-in hybrid powertrain could also be fitted to the new R8. The Lambo’s system uses a V10 engine and three electric motors to produce 897bhp, power all four wheels and deliver a pure electric range of 30 miles.
“You can make it with less power, too. The [Asterion] chassis isn’t the same as the R8, but the powertrain fits, so a plug-in hybrid is definitely a possibility,” Hackenberg told us. “The hybrid system is an engine, gearbox, electric motors and power electronics. It’s a package; it’s just a case of making it fit.”
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