It would have been an all-electric supercar that went 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds and probably priced around $250,000. Now it looks to be just a pipe dream as confirmation that Audi is shelving its planned R8 e-tron has come from the automaker. Unfortunate.
Car and Driver first got the word earlier in the week Audi was rumored to be putting all work on the R8 on hold. Then Wired got confirmation a day later from an internal Audi source that indeed this electric car would likely never make its way to Audi showrooms. The reasoning likely, speculated both publications, is a shift in upper level management that led to evaluating and determining the project suffered from a number of flaws that would make it likely not to be a good product for market. Thus the R8 e-tron will perhaps continue as an internal research project, but not something you’ll see zipping down highways any time soon.
Audi began the e-tron project several years back, first revealing its electric supercar potential at an auto show in Germany back in 2009. The vehicle on display at that time boasted of electric motors that “produce an equivalent 313 HP, letting the vehicle break 60 MPH in 4.1 seconds. It runs off of a lithium-ion battery which offers a range of 154 miles before needing to be charged.” The concept evolved over time, and most recently was setting speed records at a renowned raceway in Germany.
It looks as if the company will likely now focus more on plug-in hybrids, Wired speculated, as is “evidenced by plans to produce A1, A3, A4, A6, and Q7 SUV hybrid-electric models that can have their batteries topped up through a household outlet.” This is at least partial good news for green car consumers wanting more choice from Audi, but none will quite compare to the potential the R8 e-tron had to offer.