FRANKFURT (AP) -- German carmaker Audi AG unveiled plans for an electric car and a convertible version of its R8 Spyder sports car, among others, at the Frankfurt Auto Show on Tuesday.
Audi, a unit of Volkswagen AG, said it planned to build the e-tron, a fully electric high-performance sports car, which is currently in the development phase.
The company said it will be a four-motor drive -- one for each wheel -- and deliver 313 horsepower. The e-tron's two-seat design looks somewhat similar to the style of the Audi R8.
"The first vehicles of this type took to the roads around 1900, yet in 2009, no volume car manufacturer has a car powered exclusively by batteries in its lineup," Audi said in a statement. Fewer than 1,500 electric cars are now registered in Germany, Audi said.
To fix that, the company said it was also launching the E-Performance Support Project in October with German universities and the government to develop an integrated concept for electronic drives in cars. Audi plans to hire another 100 engineers for the project.
Audi also said it planned to build a new convertible version of its legendary R8 sports car. The new mid-engine V-10 sports car will have 525 horsepower and quattro all-wheel drive technology.
"The R8 Spyder forms the new top model out of the Audi program, with technologies like the Audi space-frame building style, and permanent all-wheel drive quattro," Audi said.
Shares of Audi closed down 1.5 percent at euro408 ($596) in Frankfurt trading.