Audi R8 e-tron confirmed with 250-mile range

Audi R&D boss confirms all-electric version of new 2015 R8, plus plug-in hybrid model is possible, too

2015 Audi R8

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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