Audi will announce its second-generation R8 supercar at the Geneva Motor Show next week (we'll be there!), which will be available in a couple flavors of V10 engine producing anywhere from 540 to 610 horsepower. By all appearances, it's going to be a beautiful machine — the first R8 certainly was.
The most interesting thing about it, though, is that there will be an e-tron model (Audi's parlance for all-electric) that will only be built by hand "upon request." The new R8 e-tron can zip from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds — slower than the high-performance V10 model and Tesla's Model S P85D at 3.2 seconds, but still impressive. The car features a T-shaped battery that stores some 92 kWh, far greater than the 49 kWh of the last R8 e-tron and bigger than even the Model S's 85 kWh. (Clearly these vehicles are in different classes, but the Model S always makes for a good high-end EV benchmark.)
With that big battery, the R8 will have a range of nearly 280 miles on a charge and will be fully rechargeable in "significantly less than two hours."
Audi says the new R8 e-tron serves "primarily as a mobile high-tech laboratory" that will eventually feed into technology used in a high-volume sedan — but in the meantime, if you've got the time and the money, the Germans are willing to build you one by hand. Hopefully we'll see the car on display in Geneva next week.