New Audi R8 and R8 e-tron to Debut at Geneva Motor Show 2015

Audi R8 rendering based on Nanuk 1 photo
Photo: Theophilus Chin
We have huge news from Audi to start off the week with a bang. A high ranking company official has confirmed the official launch of their second-generation R8 sportscar is just a couple of months away from taking place in Geneva. What's more, the electric version will be shown as well.
Speaking to CarAdvice, Audi board member for technical development Ulrich Hackenberg told that the R8 will bow at the Geneva Motor Show, the next big auto event of the 2015 callendar. We're pretty sure it will be much faster than the old model, but Hackenberg was more keen to talk about the R8 e-tron, the first all-electric sportscar from quattro GmbH.

He talked about why the project had to be scrapped over a year ago, saying that it was "because the range was 220km (136.7 miles)– it was not enough."

So what did they do to fix it? Apparently, they borrowed tech from another project (presumably, an EV??) and gave the R8 e-tron a total range of 400 to 500 kilometers (249 to 310 miles). That's impressive to say the least, basically eliminating range anxiety completely.

Every Audi from now on will adopt electricity

Perhaps even more interesting than the huge range of the R8 e-tron is the fact that it previews huge changes to the Audi lineup. From now on, Hackenberg says, every model that comes out much have some form of electrification.

It doesn't have to be all-electric, but at least one plug-in version will be available. The first models to adopt this scheme are the Q7, which has just made its debut, and the A8 sedan. The official even acnoledged the fact that Audi is targeting the same sort of customers as Tesla.

"Here we are working on a car which is able to go around 500 or maybe a little more kilometres range, that will be a fully electric car," he said about a potential new EV that could rival the Model S in a few years.

R8 manual is officially dead

The R8 will continue to be offered with hardcore naturally aspirated engines, carryovers with tech updates from the older model. Unfortunately, the manual gearbox with the awesome Lambo-style H gate will be killed off.

Audi simply doesn't have enough demand to keep the manual and its twin-clutch auto is ideally suited for track use, meaning it matches the R8's character down to a T… or an R.

The looks

We don't yet know if the new Audi designer, Marc Lichte, was allowed to work his magic on the R8, a project that precedes his post by a year. However, like the TT, the R8 will evolve in terms of styling.

We've already seen the prototypes on numerous occasions and they appear to be wider and better planted to the road. Unfortunately, the rendering created by Theophilus Chin is inspired the the Nanuk concept and doesn't preview the real design, but it should get you in the mood.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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