Speaking at its annual press gathering in Germany, Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi AG, confirmed that the all-electric Audi R8 e-tron has been approved for limited production. The high-profile plans to build this EV supercar had been shelved in late 2012 by Audi's former R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer as being too costly an undertaking. However, Hackenberg indicated that recent developments in the technical and performance arenas had caused him to revisit the program for this scintillating halo vehicle. 

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"We have made significant efficiency gains with mechanical as well as electrical and electronic components of the R8 e-tron," Hackenberg said. "The drivetrain is more efficient and onboard electricity consumption has been considerably reduced due to optimizing the power electronics." 

Hackenberg also noted that the per-charge range of this new-gen R8 e-tron - which shares basic platform elements with the new Lamborghini Huracan that made its debut this month in Geneva -- has been dramatically increased from 134 to approximately 280 miles, a change that makes it far more suitable for everyday use.  

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Although providing no additional tech data for the new Audi R8 e-tron -- or a firm on-sale date or price -- Hackenberg did indicate the vehicle would be offered "as a manufactured sports car upon customer request." He also indicated that the firm will make "intensive use" of the new R8 e-tron "as an open technology carrier and working instrument for our engineers to test and further develop technologies for the future." High on the list of advanced tech touches that will be explored are various by-wire applications and active suspension concepts.

More Plug-in Supercars...

The 2014 McLaren P1 packs a 903-horse plug-in hybrid powertrain

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive makes 740 horses 

The stunning 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder is an 887-hp plug-in hybrid


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