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Published on January 25th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro

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Audi R8 e-tron Nears Production Stage… Again

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January 25th, 2014 by
 

Originally published on Gas2.

audi-r8-e-tron-driving

The saga of the Audi R8 e-tron stretches all the way back to the 2009 and now all the Audi R8 e-tron needs is a signature to make it to production. Since the first e-tron concept debuted in 2009, a production-intent version has set Nurburgring recordsbeen cancelled, and made a comeback thanks to new battery chemistry. Now, all the Audi R8 e-tron needs is a signature to make it to production.

The Audi R8 e-tron had been cancelled due to cost and range concerns, and a limited run of just ten vehicles for research purposes was to be built. But a last-minute reprieve was granted thanks to improved batteries, which supposedly doubled the range without making the final product ridiculously expensive. Reports suggest the finished Audi R8 e-tron has a range of 250 miles per charge, and about 376 horsepower from twin electric motors.

The final piece of the puzzle is a signature from Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s technical director and the man who most likely snuffed the project in the first place. I can understand the reasoning in light of vehicles like the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive. Besides being a pain in the ass to type, the $537,000 electric supercar has a driving range of just 155 miles per charge. Sure, it’s fast, but you’re looking at maybe two hours of aggressive driving followed by eight or more hours of charging. I doubt a lot of people are lining up for such a limited supercar, and the range and top speed of the Audi R8 e-tron probably put the kibosh on the project.

If the Audi R8 e-tron is capable of delivering 250 miles of driving per charge, however, that puts it on par with the Tesla Model S. What Audi will deliver in terms of fast charging could be what makes the Audi R8 e-tron a “practical” electric supercar, and just another toy for the “coulda been cool” collection.

Source: AutoCar

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • Jouni Valkonen

    A8 eTron is really important car — if it comes to demand limited production — for the EV, because it is the first serious EV from established car manufacturers. And I mean that it is a serious car, because it is probably electric car that is not designed to be inferior to comparable gasmobiles.

  • eject

    IT is not thanks to improved batteries. It is thanks to Tesla. The boss of VW Martin Winterkorn gave Audi a right bollocking (it went trough the German press) for failing to deliver the car Tesla delivered. Which is quite funny because he didn’t really believe in the electric car.

    • Matt

      Yes but Germany feels it has the best auto engineers in the world by far. Ok just plan best engineers by far. So how could some tiny little American startup do what a Germany power house could not.

      • eject

        Good question. I guess they are just not interested. It seems like they are assuming that this will only be relevant in a few years time. They are building plug in hybrids where every can see that in reality no one will even bother to charge them, they are just going to drive them on Petrol or Diesel because the batteries in them are tiny compared to the max power output of the cars.

        Apart from BMW the German car industry appears to me like Nokia or Kodak. They are going to miss the train. The idea to have the same model of a car with a combustion engine and an electric motor competing each other will not work. The EV will be more expensive and offer less performance in terms of range.
        You have to make EV only cars to get them out of this competition and to focus on making a good car and not just an industrial grade conversion.

        • eject

          In essence. I don’t think the engineers couldn’t do it. The maximum short term profit policies of the companies doesn’t allow for it.

        • Bob_Wallace

          “They are building plug in hybrids where every can see that in reality no one will even bother to charge them, they are just going to drive them on Petrol or Diesel”

          People won’t take a few seconds to plug in order to avoid buying a gallon of $4 to $8 fuel?

          • eject

            Someone who buys a Porsche Panamera or a S-class 500 plug in sure does not. Yet those cars get hyped a lot as the future of transportation, at least in the domestic market (Germany).

            Even the C-class Diesel Hybrid they are bringing out will be running the Diesel by default i.e. as soon as you put your foot down. Else it doesn’t develop all the power. Those cars are mostly used at Highway cruising speeds so the pathetic Battery will be drained in no time. I am sure they stop plugging them in very soon.

            But I have no data on that, just a gut feeling. Sadly the manufacturers will probably never make data like that public.

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