A project that was vehemently denied to exist by Audi executives, the E-Tron electric R8, was officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in Germany a few months back. Now it is making its first trip to the U.S., with a planned North American debut at the LA Auto Show.
Living up to its “Tron” name the oddly shaped E-Tron appears to be part Audi TT and part R8, with plenty of strange body work including a front grille that features air intakes than open when necessary to cool the electric motors. The same goes for flaps in front of the rear wheels. The headlights are original units too, with LED lighting that illuminates the entire field of vision (as opposed to having high beams and standard beams). When the car detects an oncoming vehicle, the angle of light in that car’s way is simply shut off.
The car is powered entirely by electricity with four individual motors. In total they produce a modest 313hp and a ridiculous 3,319 ft-lbs of torque. That’s no typo.
With all that power you would think this electric exotic could muster up a better 0-62 mph time than 4.8 seconds. The car’s total weight is 3527 lbs, although over 1,000 lbs of that is the battery pack situated behind the passenger compartment but ahead of the rear axle.
Like a true Audi, the E-tron is a quattro car with the four individual electric motors positioned at each wheel, ensuring power can be distributed to each corner individually.
A final piece of innovation on the E-Tron is what Audi calls car-to-x communication that allows the car to communicate with traffic lights or to know if traffic is slowing ahead or if an emergency stop of maneuver is needed.
Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen has said that a car based on the E-Tron concept will be built and rumors have suggested it will wear the R4 badge. He expects fully functional examples to be ready in two years, but a production version may take slightly longer.