The old Audi R8 e-tron never moved beyond being an interesting and record-setting science experiment. But with the all-new 2016 Audi R8, Audi's doing electric performance for real this time — you just have to ask for it.

Amid Audi's other Geneva Motor Show debuts, the first official photos of the electric R8 e-tron dropped this morning as well. Am I crazy for liking it a little better than the gasoline-powered R8, in terms of looks?

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They took a couple more risks with the design on this one and I like how it played out. The silver trim around the front and rear bumpers and sideblade, plus the crazy wheels, make it a lot more visually interesting.

Audi is promising 456 horsepower, 679 pound-feet of torque, a zero to 60 mph time of 3.9 seconds, two electric motors at the rear, a range of 280 miles and 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.

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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.

I can't wait to see it square off against the BMW i8. Which German company's vision of the future will win out?

Photos credit Audi, Newspress


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