Audi surprised the motoring press with its first R8-based e-tron concept back at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show and has since shown off a repainted, slightly modified version in LA and finally a third take on the electric sportscar concept earlier this year in Detroit. We don't expect the German automaker to slow down its march to putting high-powered electric vehicles on the road any time soon, as evidenced by these spy shots of a heavily disguised e-tron roaming the streets in Germany.

At first glance, there's little indication that the car pictured here is anything but a run-of-the-mill (if such a thing exists) R8 with a psychedelic paint job. A closer examination reveals a complete lack of exterior cooling ducts and a blocked-off rear compartment.

There's no indication of what electric powertrain exists in this prototype, but previous concepts have used four individual electric motors with enough power to push the car to 60 miles per hour in under five seconds. Energy storage comes courtesy of a 54kW lithium ion battery pack. Audi is promising to have the e-tron on the roads by 2012 with a limited production run of no more than 1,000 units.

[Source: Autocar]