Tesla salespeople finally have some electrifying competition to deal with in the high-end auto biz.
When Audi unveiled its new V10-powered, 610 horsepower 2016 R8 supercar on Wednesday, it made the unexpected announcement that a battery-powered version of the two-seat coupe will also be available this year.
The R8 e-tron features a T-shaped pack with a 92 kilowatt-hour kWh capacity, which is more than the 85 kWh one in the Tesla Model S sedan. According to Audi, it’s good for a range of 280 miles per full charge, which takes less than two hours at a DC fast charging station.
Audi hasn’t said if the R8 e-tron is rear or all-wheel-drive, but with 456 hp and 679 lb-feet of torque on tap it’s good for a sprint to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, compared to 3.4 seconds for the four-door Model S P85D. Both cars have a limited top speed of 155 mph.
It won’t be a regular production model, however, but hand-built by special request. Pricing has not been announced, but conventional R8s go for upwards of $175,000 today, so it’s likely the R8 e-tron will cost more than that. U.S. sales have not been confirmed.
Expect more information to be revealed when the R8 makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week.