Looks like it’s the end of the road for the Audi R8 e-tron…
Audi has confirmed that it has scratched plans to out put its all-electric supercar, the R8 e-tron, into production.
“At the moment I don’t see an economically interesting business case with the price and the energy density we would be able to deliver [with current battery technology],” says head of research and development Wolfgang Durheimer.
“Each car costs us €1 million. It cannot be subsidised by the customers for our existing vehicles and we are not willing to lose money selling it. But the R8 e-tron is a showcase for what is possible, and our findings from developing it will find their way into all future Audi applications of e-mobility.”
Just 10 R8 e-trons have been built, and their future is likely to be as museum pieces after a further test programme. “We are not allowed to sell them, so ownership will have to remain with Audi,” said one company insider.
The R8 e-tron was to have been a rear-wheel-drive green supercar to rival the Mercedes-Benz SLS E-CELL. With a T-shaped battery pack running along the spine of the car and behind the passenger cell supplying two independent 140kW motors mounted on the rear axle, it is said to be capable of 0-60mph in around four seconds. The theoretical top speed is 160mph, though it is restricted to 125mph “for efficiency reasons”. Audi claims a maximum range of 135 miles, or 100-110 miles with “sporty driving”. One has completed two laps of the infamous Nurburgring in Germany – around 26 miles – in the hands of a professional racing driver and at racing speeds without grinding to a halt.
All of the 10 that have been made are showroom-ready, with the refinement, operational smoothness and attention to detail that’s become synonymous with Audi. Sadly, only company insiders will now ever get to find this out for themselves unless one day they end up in a museum.
What do you think of the R8 e-tron being pulled?
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