As part of the second-generation family lineup to debut early March in Geneva, Audi’s R8 e-tron boasts nearly 280 miles range in Europe, 678 pounds-feet of torque, and 0-62 in 3.9 seconds.
A Tesla Model P85D by contrast promises an EPA-rated 253 miles range, 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in 3.4 seconds, and 864 pounds-feet torque, but the Audi is more than a spec sheet, and promises to be something special in its own right.
Based on a car (pictured) that in mid-engine V10 gas form combines aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) in an “Audi Space Frame,” the automaker says no other Audi is closer to motorsports ready than the R8.
With a wide, low and muscular visage, the R8 gets laser high beam headlights augmenting its LED lighting. Inside are digital displays.
Whether the 279.6 miles range estimate works out to be as high on the U.S. EPA cycle is also in question but it may be within the 208-265 mile span of the Model S line up.
It’s also, of course, a different style of car, and the sports coupe Audi with new battery is itself an evolved product.
The original car had half the range, and Audi initially shelved the vehicle before announcing new battery chemistry could get its range to where customers would accept it.
As it is now, we’ve seen nothing from Audi suggesting it will compete with Tesla on volume, but rather the contrary, and this unique limited-productiomn halo will have exclusivity while promising powerful sure-footed performance.
The new R8 lineup is produced at a specially built production facility called the “Böllinger Höfe” site in Heilbronn.
“An elaborate manufacturing technique ensures that Audi-typical quality is produced,” says Audi.
Pricing for the V10 gas-powered version starts at 165,000 euros ($186,000) when deliveries start this spring, but the e-tron’s price was not announced.