Was The Audi R8 e-tron Killed Because Its Too Slow?

Last week the electric vehicle world was rocked by the news that the Audi R8 e-tron electric supercar had been put on hold…or possibly even cancelled. While rumors suggested the cost of the batteries might be the culprit, but now speculation suggests that it might be the R8 e-tron’s speed, or lackthereof, that has caused Audi to reconsider production plans.

I know, I know, sounds crazy right? Especially given the fact that Audi claims to have set the record for the fastest lap of a production electric vehicle around the Nurburgring, hitting a top speed of 155 mph and completing the 12.92-mile circuit in just over 8 minutes and 9 seconds. But the catch is that in production guise, the Audi R8 e-tron will (or was) be limited to just 125 mph, slowing the lap time to 8 minutes and 30 seconds.

Still sounds fast, right? Well, there’s just one problem…namely, the competition. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive has a limited top speed of 155 mph to the Audi’s production-limited 125 mph, while the Exagon Furtive eGT also hit 149 mph on the Nurbrugring. Both of these Audi competitors have steep price tags thanks to their expensive battery systems, but at least they have the speed to back it up.

Not so with the Audi R8 e-tron. That 25 mph difference in top speed might be reason enough for well-heeled EV enthusiasts to skip the Audi in favor of the Exagon or Mercedes. It certainly stands to reason that a “slow” Audi electric supercar might be the wrong thing for the European market right now, which is why Audi is also showcasing a more-practical electric drivetrain.

Did speed kill the Audi electric supercar? Is it the batteries? Or is there something else at work here?

Source: Plug-In Cars

Christopher DeMorro

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