In Depth

Audi RS e-tron 2022: electric R8 to use Rimac battery tech

Company insiders say an EV supercar is in the works. Here’s what we know...

Audi’s successor to its poplular R8 will swap the supercar’s V10 engine for a battery electric motor system designed in partnership with EV manufacturer Rimac, it has emerged. 

According to Car magazine, the German carmaker is planning to call upon Rimac, the Croatian EV firm behind the 1,900bhp C Two hypercar, to undertake “large chunks of the development work” for the rumoured RS e-tron supercar. 

Audi intends to have Rimac supply the RS e-tron’s “four-motor powertrain and fast-charge batteries”, the magazine claims. The German firm, meanwhile, would handle the rest of the car’s assembly at its Bollinger Hofe factory near Heilbronn, Germany.

While the company has yet to confirm a tie-up with Rimac, the rumour tallies with Rimac’s existing partnerships with other carmakers. The Croatian firm is already an “ally” of Porsche and is believed to be in talks with Lamborghini, both of which are owned by Audi’s parent company Volkswagen, the mag adds. 

There’s still a long way to go until the car hits the showrooms, though. The RS e-tron, formerly known as the e-tron GTR, isn’t due to arrive until 2022, so there is plenty of time to pick up a V10 model before they are retired.

In the meantime, here are the latest rumours and unconfirmed reports about the R8’s successor:

Release date

The RS e-tron is expected to be unveiled in 2022. However, it’s not yet known whether the electric supercar will appear in concept form, or if that’s when production models hit the showrooms. 

Price

It’s difficult to say at the moment, given that the car won’t arrive for several years. 

The current R8 costs around £130,000, making it one of the cheapest supercars on the market. But if the RS e-tron comes with advanced technology that isn’t available on any other vehicle, it may cost considerably more. 

Design

Though details about the RS e-tron are thin on the ground, Audi has released a number of concept cars recently that give us clues as to what the EV supercar may look like.  

For instance, the PB18 e-tron concept was considered to be a first look at what the R8’s successor may look like when it appeared at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California last year, Autocar reports.

The concept featured a central driving position and radical aerodynamics that serve to improve stability at high speeds. The vehicle also sported an estate-like shooting brake design and glowing Audi Sport logos at the bottom of the doors. 

Performance and range

Audi insiders told Car that the e-tron RS will be built on Porsche’s J1 production platform, the same architecture that underpins the new Taycan electric car. 

The platform will allow Audi to install a 95kWh solid-state battery, which is more compact that the lithium-ion batteries that are found in most of today’s EVs. The sources say that the batteries will be connected to four electric motors, producing a total power output of around 650bhp. 

A 300-mile range is also being touted, as is wireless charging, says Motor1

But the e-tron RS is still in its infancy, so these specs may change later in the car’s development.

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