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We Hear: Audi R8 E-Tron Given Green Light

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/7/2014 Kelly Pleskot

After some initial hesitation, Audi is apparently giving an electric version of the R8 supercar a second look.

The 2015 Audi R8 is slated to debut next summer, and according to R&D boss Ulrich Hackenberg, the exotic car will be available in two electric versions. Audi has already tested out the possibility of a plug-in R8 by introducing the Lamborghini Asterion concept, which utilizes the same platform as the Audi supercar. In the past, Audi has gone back and forth on a production R8 E-Tron, but it seems like this pure electric model has been given the green light.

audi-r8-e-tron-front-track-1© Provided by MotorTrend audi-r8-e-tron-front-track-1

Speaking with Car, Hackenberg said the all-electric version will offer more than 250 miles of range, and that the plug-in R8 would feature a different drivetrain from the Asterion. The new R8 is likely to debut first with traditional gasoline-powered engines, with the electrified versions following later in the car's life cycle. Reportedly, buyers will still be able to choose between V-8 and V-10 versions, but the manual transmission gets the boot for 2015. A DL800 dual-clutch gearbox will be the only available transmission for the new Audi R8.

Since the Asterion will reportedly not make to production, the electrified R8's next closest competitor would likely be the BMW i8. However, Mercedes could always decide to produce a follow-up to the SLS AMG Electric Drive based on the new AMG GT.

Source: Car

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