Automotive enthusiasts long ago learned to live with disappointment, whether it be a concept car that remains a concept, or the death of an iconic brand. For every high, there must be an equivalent low. A new report suggests that despite being close to a production-ready vehicle, Audi has halted work on its all-electric R8 e-tron supercar…and could possibly even kill the project.
Though it originally debuted back in early 2009, Audi let certain media outlets behind the wheel that very same year. In other words, they’ve had a working model of the R8 e-tron for at least three years. Production seemed to be chugging ahead just fine, and Audi even went ahead and claimed to have set an electric production car record around the Nurburgring…even though the R8 e-tron still isn’t for sale.
A new report from Car & Driver implies that it may never go on sale. C&D sources say that all work on the R8 e-tron has been halted, and a review is underway to determine if the project should move along. Audi had said that the R8 e-tron would be on sale by the end of this year, but that seems increasingly unlikely. If the review doesn’t go well, the whole project could be scrapped at the 11th hour. Who would want to kill a car with peak torque of 3,319 ft-lbs and a top speed of 155 mph? Not this guy…but the suits see it differently.
The problem it seems centers on the batteries, which have not come down in cost. Granted, we are talking about a car that even with a gas engine sells for over $100,000. But perhaps after seeing the $537,000 price tag of the Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive, Audi realized what an extremely limited market the R8 e-tron would appeal to. Instead, Audi seems intent of committing its resources to more practical electric vehicles.
Without knowing any more specifics, it is hard to gauge how much of a chance the Audi R8 e-tron has of making it to market…but things aren’t looking too good right now.
Source: Car & Driver