We are witnessing the evolution of the electric car . With the world’s biggest players having entered the market, we could expect development in this field to happen at a brisk pace. BMW already has its i Series in place and Mercedes-Benz is still pondering over the SLS AMG Electric Drive . Audi, on the other hand, shocked the world when it announced the scrapping of the R8 e-tron.
As we speak, folks at Audi are reconsidering the decisions they made in axing the R8 e-tron program. Yes, Audi is currently looking at options to put the R8 e-tron in to limited production by the end of 2014. The Audi R8 e-tron was the latest zero-emissions concept coming out of the Ingolstadt factory and now a select few among us could even own one. In order to facilitate the production of the new two-seat electric sports car , Audi has made a number changes to its research and engineering divisions, spending lots of money in the process.
Such an investment could only mean, positive steps have been taken in order to make the R8 e-tron a reality. Being a Volkswagen Group entity, Audi also benefits from research and development being done by its sister company for the VW e-Up , e-Golf and the XL1 hyper-mileage car.
It’s pretty crazy how quickly things can change in the automotive world...
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 e-tron
Audi brought hybrid technology to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and won the grueling endurance race comprehensively. The Audi R18 Le Mans prototype provided a great test-bed for hybrid-electric powertrains. Quite obviously, someone in the team dreamed of a road car with the same electric drive as the race car. Thus, was born the Audi R8 e-tron concept .
There is more to it than just a powertrain swap though. The batteries powering the electric motors are your conventional lithium-ion ones. The chemical composition has been changed to generate as much energy as possible. The original batteries were able to generate 48.6 kWh. Now with the change in the chemical process, the batteries generate more power. This means engineers are able to reduce the net weight of the battery pack.
The Audi R8 e-tron is destined to use the next-generation R8 supercar platform. The aluminum-carbon-fiber composite structure should drop the curb weight in order to accommodate the heavy battery pack. The drivetrain consists of two electric motors with a combined output of 375 horsepower and 605 pound-feet. Expect a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed 124 mph limited due to battery and drivetrain constraints.