It seems as if Audi isn't finished with churning out variants of the R8. The German carmaker has just confirmed it will bring an all-electric version of the sports car in limited numbers to the market in late 2012.
The R8 e-Tron's large fluid-cooled lithium-ion battery is located right behind the passenger compartment, resulting in weight distribution of 45:58 between the front and rear axles, just like that of the internal combustion R8 V10. It will take six to eight hours to charge the battery with a household current of 230 volts, and only about two and a half hours when done with a high-voltage current.
The R8 e-Tron also makes use of a regenerative braking system so that the battery is also recharged on the road when the vehicle is braking or decelerating. When the R8 e-Tron goes into production, its lithium-ion battery will give it a range of around 250 kilometers.
Helping the R8 e-Tron achieve such a range is its lightweight aluminum body, which weighs less than 200 kilograms, allowing the car to weigh just 1600kg.
Four asynchronous motors--two each on the front and rear axles--run the R8 e-Tron, making it a true quattro with a single-staged transmission transmitting the power to all four wheels. These four motors give the R8 e-Tron a power output of 313hp and 4500Nm of torque from a standstill, enabling the vehicle to run from zero to 100kph in just 4.8 seconds.
"The R8 e-Tron provides a glimpse into Audi's philosophy of electric mobility," said Michael Korte, head of pre-development vehicle concepts for Audi. "Extending far beyond the battery technology and the replacement of an internal combustion engine by an electric driveline, the concept is holistic."