Audi R8 E-Tron Bound for Production


  • Audi R8 E-Tron Picture

    Audi R8 E-Tron Picture

    The Audi R8 E-tron will be produced, according to Audi CEO Rupert Stadler. | March 12, 2014

Just the Facts:
  • The Audi R8 E-tron, an electric version of the R8 sports car, will be produced, said Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, in a media conference call on Tuesday.
  • The initial version of the R8 E-tron had a range of about 180-200 miles and is now capable of more, Stadler said.
  • The electric vehicle will be available to U.S. consumers, but an exact launch date has not been spelled out.

DETROIT — The Audi R8 E-tron, an electric version of the R8 sports car, will be produced, said Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, in a media conference call on Tuesday.

The initial version of the R8 E-tron had a range of about 180-200 miles and is now capable of more, Stadler said.

"We had not been happy with that range," Stadler said. "A pure electric should have a 350-400-mile range. Some solutions could provide that range."

He did not specify the range of the production version of the E-tron, which is expected to be nearly double the original estimates, thanks to improvements in batter technology and efficiency improvements in the mechanical and electronic parts of the car.

The car will be available to U.S. consumers, but an exact launch date has not been spelled out. Pricing has not been announced either.

The R8 E-tron is likely to be available in limited numbers. More importantly, its development has accelerated the advancement of various electric-vehicle components, which could make their way into more mainstream Audi offerings in the future.

Last year, Audi said its R8 E-tron would not make the cut for production, citing the high cost of batteries and high-voltage components, among other factors.

Audi uses the E-tron sub-brand to denote "electrified” vehicles, from the tiny A1 E-tron subcompact car to the R18 E-tron Quattro endurance racecar.

Word of the revival of the R8 E-tron comes as BMW is grabbing headlines for the 2014 BMW i8, a plug-in hybrid sports car that is part of the German automaker’s electric-drive i lineup. The BMW i8 arrives at dealerships this spring starting at $136,625.

Edmunds says: The on-again, off-again Audi R8 E-tron is back on again. But car shoppers should expect a hefty price tag and limited availability.

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