Audi technical chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg has confirmed to Australia’s Drive.au their next-generation R8 supercar will debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show in V8, V10 and electric variations.
Hackenberg reportedly said the electric version of the R8, to be called the R8 e-tron, will serve as a test bed for Audi technologies that will eventually trickle down into the brand’s lesser models.
“[Combustion engines] will be the majority,” said Hackenberg, adding “the electric version will have the character of a technology presenter.”
Hackenberg was part of the development team for the innovative Volkswagen XL1, an extremely light, ultra-efficient, carbon-bodied economy car capable of achieving up to 260 MPG US. He says the XL1 was a technology showcase for the VW brand, and would like a similiar product for the Audi brand.
“I made the XL1 because I wanted to focus all the high technologies in one object, where the team was able to work on, and I’m missing such a vehicle with Audi,” he said. “What I intend is to use the R8 to make a development phase of different drive technologies. We begin with the full battery electric vehicle and we have in mind some further steps, whether that’s a plug-in or something else, we will use the R8 as a carrier for technologies.”