Audi to Launch Electric Sports Car With 288-Mile Range

Audi R8 E-Tron - H 2015
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Audi R8 E-Tron - H 2015

The R8 e-tron will go on sale later this year by special order only.

Adding further competition to Tesla’s niche of luxury-priced electric cars with 250-mile-plus range, Audi will introduce an updated plug-in version of its high-performance R-8 sports car later this year, the company announced at the Geneva Auto Show.

The R8 e-tron replaces the concept electric R8 introduced in 2009 and features the second-generation R8 design unveiled last week at Geneva. The new car’s 280-mile range is a significant improvement over concept e-tron’s 133 miles and gives the R8 a single-charge range similar to Tesla’s Model S.

Audi said the R8 e-tron will go from zero to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds. Two electric motors will drive the rear wheels and deliver 456 horsepower and a top speed of 155 miles per hour. The 92 kw T-shaped battery will charge in less than two hours. Pricing was not announced. 

Mercedes, BMW and Audi have taken note of Tesla’s near-monopoly on the luxury plug-in market and are developing competing models.

At Geneva, Audi confirmed that it also is building an electric SUV with a range of 250 miles that would compete directly with Tesla's Model X crossover.

Tesla is expected to start Model X deliveries later this year. Customers have placed an estimated 20,000 preorders for the much-delayed SUV.