Forget Tesla, the real future of electrically powered proper sports cars is going to come from Germany. Specifically, it’s going to come from Ingolstadt.
I’m saying this with great confidence despite my overall reservations about how electric cars are still in a period of technological infancy.
Where all the buzz from? Two things actually, first of all, Audi revealed the production line where they assemble the R8 e-Tron and secondly because they gave us the full technical details on what it can do.
The assembly line that rolls off the Audi R8 e-Tron is located in a part of the company’s high tech Neckarsulm factory and as if that wasn’t enough, the level of preparation is too good even for the Germans.
Special tools are used and only the most experienced and highly trained of Audi’s production crew and engineers get the chance to work on the electric halo car.
Speaking of electric, the four motors in the Audi R8 e-Tron produce 313 horsepower and 3.319 lb-ft of torque which enables it to hit 62 from a standstill in just 4.8 seconds.
I know most figures sound geeky so let me put it to you a different way. Think back to the last construction site you saw and the massive trucks they were using there.
Odds are that none of the big construction trucks are capable of developing that much torque so you can imagine the outstanding pulling power the Audi R8 e-Tron sends to all of its wheels.
Before that power can happen and all the joy of an electric sports car as capable as the Ingolstadters advertise it there is still the problematic situation of the range.
According to Audi, their R8 e-Tron will be using a 53 KWh lithium-ion battery for a fuel tank and only 42.4 kWh will actually be usable. The rest will be preserved in an effort to counter the way batteries lose capacity over time and work cycles.
Even in this “limited” state, the juice box should be enough to keep the e-Tron version of the Audi R8 going for around 155 miles.
No doubt, these figures remain to be verified but I have to admit, the Germans have me hooked on this one, mostly because the sports factor doesn’t seem to be cancelled out.
Despite seriously weighty fluid-cooled system and the initial weight of the lithium-ion batteries and having four engines instead of one, the Audi R8 e-Tron tips the scales at just 1600 kg.
As an added bonus, the weight was well positioned, to a point where the original distribution of masses sits at 42:58, which is exactly what the V8 powered has.
Power delivery ratios were also kept intact which means that the 30:70 situation may even make for some joyous handling more than anything else that you plug in.
A production launch is expected for the later part of 2012 and when this car actually sits in your garage it will only take six to eight hours from an average 230 volt plug.