Hackenberg's next Audi R8 could rock the EV world

Audi says the R8 e-tron will be a "technology carrier" for the brand.
Douglas A. Bolduc is Managing Editor at Automotive News Europe
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Audi technology boss Ulrich Hackenberg believes the R8 e-tron supercar's 450km range could change the way people think of electric cars.

During Audi's annual results press conference today Hackenberg said he and his team have developed a full-electric version of the R8 that has a range of 450km. By comparison, BMW says its i3 electric car has a maximum range of 190km.

Hackenberg said Audi’s board has approved the R8 e-tron and that the automaker plans to offer the high-tech, long-range variant to customers "upon request."

He and Audi CEO Rupert Stadler declined to say when the model would go on sale or where it will be build. Hackenberg said the model will be the most expensive, most advanced R8 available.

Hackenberg said that the car’s range was increased through a combination of better batteries, a more efficient drivetrain and by reducing the power drain from other components in the vehicle.

The R8 also will be used to test other forthcoming technologies such as drive by wire, Hackenberg said.

"We will make intensive use of the next generation of the R8 e-tron as an open technology carrier and working instrument for our engineers to test and further develop technologies for the future," he said in a statement. "Think for example of new drive technologies and regulating systems such as by-wire technologies or active suspension concepts."

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