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The Audi R8 e-Tron holds the record for the fastest all-electric production based vehicle to ever lap the Nurburgring, putting up a time of 8:09.099 back in June of this year. Now, a video has been released showing the electric super car making its record setting run at the hands of former DTM racer, Markus Winkelhock.
Originally debuting in 2009 at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the automaker’s electrified halo car keeps slipping just out of grasp. in September, 2011 we reported that the car would launch in 2012, but news beyond that has been slow to surface.
The Audi R8 e-tron is going to be heard, even though its four electric engines run silently. Audi has spent three years developing the right sound for its newest all electric vehicle, and they have released a video showcasing the process behind assigning a sound to the R8 e-tron.
In the video we are introduced to composer Rudolph Halbmeir in the studio, working with his digital audio work space to create the sound that will be emitted from the R8 e-tron. It was essential for Audi to come up with some sort of tone that would accompany the e-tron’s electric engines, as driving with no engine feedback whatsoever would surely be a very unnatural feeling to most drivers.
Audi‘s expansion plans are materializing to the tune of €13 billion by 2016, heralding growth that enthusiasts are sure to cheer for and that will provide new jobs for German students.
That €13 billion will mostly go towards new technology, but the company is also looking to add about 1,200 new specialists to their team in 2012. That number is in addition to the 3,500 new employees the company added this year. Audi plans to find the fresh blood by offering permanent contracts to students from vocational academies and StEP program (Study and Experience in Practice) students once they finish their training.
Despite bringing so many new hands on deck, the company plans to spend €10.5 billion on new hybrid and electric vehicles.
“To maintain our profitable growth, we will step up investment spending on new products,” said Axel Strotbek, Member of the Board of Management for Finance and Organization at Audi AG.
On the more immediate horizon, the automaker also confirmed new models for 2012: the A8 hybrid that uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder and the next generation A3. Along with that, the company also confirmed the 2013 A6 allroad Quattro and fully electric R8 e-Tron (pictured above).
GALLERY: Audi R8 e-Tron:
Think there’s a lot of build-up for a car like the Toyota FT-86? Just be glad you’re not waiting for an electric Audi R8. First introduced two years ago at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the German luxury automaker has now come full circle and will be unveiling the next version of the R8 E-tron in Frankfurt this week.
With Audi having announced plans to bring the car to market in 2012, this latest “technology demonstrator” is expected to be quite close to the production model. When it finally does arrive, the R8 e-Tron is set to use four electric motors (one at each wheel) to create a total of 308-hp and 3,319 ft-lbs of torque (collectively) with a 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds. Range is expected to be roughly 155 miles, with a charge time of 6-8 hours on a conventional outlet or 2.5 hours with a rapid charger.
This latest E-Tron concept will bridge the gap between several Audi debuts in Frankfurt, with the green Audi Urban Concept and A2 Concept on one hand and the high-performance S6, S7 and S8 on the other. Look for full details with AutoGuide’s Frankfurt Auto Show coverage starting here on Tuesday, September 13th.
GALLERY: Audi R8 e-Tron
Audi has been teasing the world with rumors of an electric car debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show, but executives have gone so far as to flatly deny the existence of an electric R8.
Now the folks over at WorldCarFans have received a selection of renderings for an R8 called the E-Tron. (Apparently Tron is a running theme this year, with BMW’s Vision EfficientDynamics Concept looking like something from the movie).
The photos show an obvious R8 profile with several differences, including a new front grille, different headlights, a new rear end design and wheels. Most notably different, however, is the interior, which shows a clean cockpit with an LCD screen between the main gauges. There is also an LED screen on the driver’s A-pillar.
Unless Audi decided to fess-up to the Electric R8, we’ll have to wait until the automaker’s press conference tomorrow (September 15th) at the Frankfurt Auto Show and keep watching ElectricityUntamed.com.
GALLERY: Audi R8 E-Tron Concept