Audi: "R8 e-tron Electric Supercar Won't Go On Sale"

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Good news: Audi's off-again, on-again electric supercar--the R8 e-tron--is now confirmed for production.

Bad news: You won't be able to buy one, as the company has decided to make just ten vehicles, all for research purposes only.

The company confirmed to Autocar that it has produced ten R8 e-tron models, but none will be offered to customers.

Instead, the ten will be used for internal testing and development only. In a recent press release, the company stated, "Through the R8 e-tron, Audi has acquired extensive expertise that will benefit its electrified production models."

Those production models include the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid and others rumored to be on the horizon.

The R8 e-tron is one of the company's higher-profile models. Based on the regular (if such a word can be used in relation to a supercar like the R8) V-8 and V-10 models, it instead uses a lithium-ion battery and twin electric motors.

With 376 horsepower and 604 pounds-feet of torque, 0-62 mph takes just 4.2 seconds, and top speed is limited to 124 mph.

Torque vectoring helps the R8 e-tron corner as quickly as any electric car has a right to, and contributed to its production car lap record at the famed Nürburgring circuit in Germany last year.

Part of the reason for Audi's change of heart is thought to be the slow progress of battery technology.

Rumors persist that Audi had expected the cost of batteries to fall more than it has--making the project more financially viable--and that the technology would have allowed for a greater range than the e-tron's 130-odd miles by now.

Whatever the reason for Audi's decision to cancel volume production of the R8 e-tron, it now means Audi fans may have to wait another model cycle before getting their hands on an electric sports car.

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