IT’S ELECTRIC: 2016 AUDI R8

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hq9jqjwan8d2fs2gibaeCan you believe eight years have passed since the first Audi R8 graced UK roads? Where does the time go, eh? Anyway, this is the all-new model, sporting a subtle but suitably sharp makeover, weight-saving tweaks to its foundations and a new V10 engine that is offered with either 533bhp or 602bhp in the V10 Plus model.

There will be an e-tron version that customers can actually purchase this time, rather than merely salivate over. Audi has been beavering away in its battery labs, so the T-shaped battery pack that runs along the floor of the vehicle can now propel the high-performance electric motors for over 276-miles before a recharge is required.

The e-tron will produce a haunting whine rather than a savage bark but it will be rapid, with initial reports suggesting it can smash the 0-62mph sprint in 3.9 seconds and go on to a top speed of 155mph.

That’s nothing compared to the 602bhp V10 Plus model, which will happily complete the same sprint in 3.2 seconds and go on to tickle the 205mph mark. Further proof that hairy-chested petrol engines still rule the performance roost.

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Audi is promising 456 horsepower, 679 pound-feet of torque, two electric motors at the rear, and a charging time of less than two hours. Audi produces the 92 kWh high-voltage battery itself, which is integrated into the center tunnel and behind the cockpit to keep the center of gravity low. A new Combined Charging System uses a combination of direct and alternating current to charge quickly.

The automaker says the R8 will primarily be a “mobile high-tech laboratory,” so production will be limited and on a made-to-order basis only, so don’t expect them to just be sitting on dealer lots waiting for new homes.

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