Despite building ten test cars and claiming a premature Nurburgring lap record, it was decided in May that the Audi R8 E-tron electric supercar would not be built. According to a new report though, improvements to the lithium-ion battery pack have nearly doubled the supercars driving range, and the project is now back on. For reals.
The Audi R8 E-Tron promised a lot of things, but ultimately fell short as for several reasons, primarily the 215 km/130 mile driving range The Tesla Model S, with its 265 EPA-rated driving range, flipped the script on electric car expectations, and suddenly 130 miles wasn’t even close to enough. That helped propel the first round of rumors predicting the Audi’s premature death.
Another problem was the rather limited top speed of just 130 mph, something even most compact cars can achieve. Despite these issues Audi pressed on, as the project generated a lot of buzz for the German automaker. In the end though, rather than launch a half-backed, overpriced electric supercar, Audi wisely backed down, even going so far as to announce that the project had closed down entirely.
Obviously though that wasn’t the case, as engineers and researchers continued to improve upon the 48.6 kWh battery pack, even going so far as to the change the chemical makeup. The result is an Audi electric supercar with close to 400 km, or 250 miles of driving range between charges. That’s a huge improvement, and while production will still be very limited, the Audi R8 E-tron seems to have gotten a rare second, third, and fourth shot at production.
Let’s hope this time, it sticks.