The Honda CR-Z might be showing that hybrid cars can be sporty if not sports cars, but what about the realm of supercars? What if you want to go all electric? The Tesla Roadster isn’t the only option in this field, it seems, because we’re looking at the Audi E-tron R8 on display at CES 2011.
I was drawn to the Audi booth on the trade show floor, mostly because it was large and brightly lit. Then, my eyes lit up to find the matte black Audi R8. I began to wonder why it was emblazoned with E-tron branding. In a very brief discussion with one of the product managers he told me that this took the basic chassis of the R8 and outfitted it with a fully electric powertrain.
Tearing out the petrol engine you find four electric motors in its stead. There are two for the front axles and two for the rear axles, preserving the Quattro all-wheel-drive that you’ve come to expect from Audi. All said, you get 313 hp and an awe-inspiring 3319 lbs-ft of torque. I thought that was a typo, but every source I find is saying 4500 Nm (which works out to the 3000+ lbs-ft you see). This is good for a 0-60 mph time of under five seconds.
The lithium-ion batteries powering this slick German beast are said to be good enough for 248km of range (42.4 kilowatt-hours), but I’d imagine that number drops substantially when you really drive it the way it’s meant to be driven.