The next Audi R8 will be electric

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Audi PB 18 e-tron concept car front 3/4 Audi

When the Audi R8 ends it production run, its replacement will likely be propelled by electric motors, rather than the Lamborghini-based V-10 that has hitherto motivated Audi’s supercar. That’s what UK’s Car is reporting, according to unnamed sources. Based on the Volkswagen Group’s J1 platform for upmarket electric cars, which will also spawn the Porsche Taycan, the Audi e-tron GTR is planned for a 2022 release. Audi’s version will get an aluminum unibody.

Car‘s informants say that the e-tron GTR will have three electric motors and all wheel drive. That will allow for torque-vectoring for improved cornering, although it remains to be seen if that will be two motors in front, as with the gas-electric hybrid Acura NSX, or two motors in the rear. Those sources say the Audi super sports car will be very quick off the line, even by electric vehicle standards, with a target 0-62 mph time of just over two seconds. The motors will have a combined output of 500 kW (670 horsepower), powered by a 95 kWh solid-state battery pack with wireless charging. Projected range is 300 miles.

The e-tron GTR will likely draw influence from the PB 18 concept that Audi showed at the Pebble Beach Concours last year, which was also said to be powered with solid-state electrical storage devices, though that vehicle had four, not three, motors. Solid-state batteries have yet to be used in automotive applications, but Audi and its suppliers have three years to figure that out before the anticipated launch date.

Audi R&D head Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler told Car that all of Audi’s sporty cars, including the high-performance RS branded models, will eventually have some kind of electromotive power. “Electrically, you can control things more, and have more of an emotional influence on driving behavior,” he said.

Should Car’s sources be correct, the e-tron GTR will finally bring Audi’s plans for a production electric supercar to fruition. In 2015, the automaker introduced the R8 e-tron, which had two electric motors with a combined 456 hp, a top speed of 155 mph, and a 0-62 mph time under four seconds. However, fewer than one hundred of the $1.1 million R8 e-trons were made and sold only in Europe.

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