What looks like a first-generation R8 hot lapping the Nürburgring is actually a clandestine test mule for the upcoming 2016 Audi R8 e-tron. The biggest giveaway is the obvious lack of internal combustion noise, but the front grilles have also been blocked-off for better aero and there’s a distinct lack of exhaust outlets in the rear. The glass engine cover has also been replaced with an opaque vented panel.

We should be getting used to by now, but it still screws with your head to see a car this fast not making any noise aside from its squealing tires.

Audi showed a production version of the R8 e-tron at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year and claimed a Nürburgring lap time of 8:09.099, making it the fastest all-electric production car to ever lap the ‘Ring. Visually, it’s nearly identical to the new second-generation R8, with the addition of a few chrome accents on the front grille, side intakes and rear fascia to differentiate itself from the V-10-powered R8.

Under it all is a 49-kWh battery pack powering two electric motors at the rear wheels. The entire system produces 455 horsepower and 679 pound-feet of torque — roughly enough to tow an aircraft carrier. An electromechanical braking system recuperates energy during deceleration, and torque vectoring improves handling by managing the amount of twist sent to each rear wheel.

The sprint to 62 mph comes in 3.9 seconds, while top speed has been electronically limited to 155 mph. All that with a range of 280 miles after a full two-hour charge. Order books open later this year, at which point we’ll have more information on pricing.

2016 Audi R8 E-tron

2016 Audi R8 E-Tron High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review here.

James Wolfcale
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