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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Comments (15)
  1. So, what they're saying is that they're content to let other companies take the lead, and then reconsider once the tech is mature, instead of being part of the maturing process. That's a shame, I always liked Audi, despite their attitude towards Tesla.

  2. No, what they're saying is that they can't make a competitive product (c. 130 mile range isn't enough) and they can't make money on it (even with the limited range).

    It's not as easy as Tesla make it look!

  3. It looks like simple economics. If the R8 e-tron costs more (probably WAY more) than the Tesla Model S Performance 85, but offers less space and comfort, similar acceleration, slower top speed, slower recharging, and lower range, who will buy it?

  4. Exactly. I don't think Audi has given up on EVs, of course, the brand just didn't expect to have Tesla whip its butt this early in the game. Good, in a way, get your butts back to the table and prove you can beat a "little start-up company from California," my own words, mind you.

    I'm not holding my breath. Audi, enough talk and concepts, at least get an A3 or A4 as an EV/PHEV or just stop discussing EVs until you gain credibility.

  5. Who cares if a concept car deliver what they say that it promises?

    Beautiful girls beside the concept, flashes, press relesases, bells and whistles, bla, bla, bla...

  6. It's so boring...

  7. They probably took a good look at Model S and realised they had some more homework to do.

    Good for them, "extensive expertise" is probably more effective in fending off unexpectedly successful start ups than ill advised press releases.

  8. Time to block "Audi" + "e-tron" as spam...

  9. Hummm Tesla roadster costs more than the model S and is smaller and a fraction slower. The roadster has way more than 130 miles of range so I'm gonna agree with some other commenters here that Audi has a bunch of work cut out for them if they think they are going to go head to head with tesla.

  10. "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."
    Less horsepower, slower to 60, slower top speed and no doubt less range than my new Tesla Model S Performance. Keep trotting out concepts Audi, Tesla is light years ahead.


  12. Hey Folks, You don't suppose that they are examining what GRAPHENE might do for their cost and performance do you?

  13. Audi is VW and all VW is about at this time is propaganda when it comes to EVs.
    They announce their "new electric car" at least once a week while all they have in mind is their bottom line(profit) and only building the necessary compliance cars for California.
    There is no real threat to the ICE because of the limits of the current battery technology. The Tesla, as good as it is, is too expensive for the mainstream market and the Leaf is too limited in range.

    What this country needs is an inexpensive battery that will power a 3000 pound car at 65mph for an honest 150 miles.

  14. I could get in a 130 mile range. With the exception of trips, which I wouldn't take an R8 on anyway, I would never need the full range.

  15. so many haters!!! AUDI RULES THE WORLD


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