If you ask Audi about its R8 E-Tron prototype, the all-electric two-seater that was first shown at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the automaker will tell you that its development program is on hold. Yet, as we reported in January, limited production of the combustion-free coupe may be moving forward... information still officially unconfirmed by the automaker.

New images of the electrified R8 undergoing winter testing in Europe have emerged (above and in our gallery), and the car has been spotted running in Spain as well. Both sightings support reports that the E-Tron, with its 150-mile battery range and 8:09 Nürburgring time, may be back in business. Does the program have a green light, or is Audi merely trying to take some of the thunder from the BMW i8?

Whatever the case, if the R8 E-Tron does eventually make it into showrooms – and we are now led to believe it will – expect production volume to be very low. Assuming it doesn't get shelved again, of course.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      What ships first, an affordable fuel cell car or one of these E-trons they keep teasing? Go!
      Jim
      • 1 Year Ago
      They are probably just making the best use of them for further research into motors, inverters, cooling and batteries.
        skierpage
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jim
        If you look at the SLS ED with three battery packs and four motors, the modular design is obviously geared towards using the components in a lesser car, one that might be competitive with the Nissan Leaf. Meanwhile Tesla has one massive pack in two sizes, one super-efficient motor, and a competitive car in its segment available today and selling relatively well. There must be interesting high-level debates at Audi and M-B. "We've spent a zillion Deutsche Marks on these programs, this is the third generation, and yet you can't guarantee there will be much demand for the cars if we put them into limited production? Even if we sell at a loss?! Gott im Himmel!! Damn you Tesla!"
      RC
      • 1 Year Ago
      Meh
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        FIDTRO
        • 1 Year Ago
        Uneducated people such as yourself are probably not their target consumer.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FIDTRO
          [blocked]
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Half the range of a model S at twice the price. They put the program on hold because they did the math and couldn't figure out how to make the sales numbers add up. Maybe they are taking a little extra time to re-engineer the battery pack & controller system to make its range competitive.
      desinerd1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Shouldn't they figure out how to make decent gasoline engines first? An R8 that doesn't burn down like the one below would be a good start http://ibnlive.in.com/news/audi-r8-supercar-catches-fire-in-mumbai-passengers-rescued/318035-3-237.html
      SLR722GT
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think Audi should focus on fixing carbon buildup on FSI engines.
        SLR722GT
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SLR722GT
        I don't know what the thumbs down is for, but for the ones who are not aware...google R8 carbon buildup, RS4 Carbon buildup, A4, A5, A6.....look at up and think about it. I know an R8 V10 owner (traded RS4 for it) and he told me that it costs him $1400 every 20K to get his carbon build up cleaned form intake valves. He also told me that his RS4 had the same issue.
          Bernard
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SLR722GT
          http://www.audizine.com/forum/showthread.php/336352-Audi-FSI-Engine-Carbon-Build-up-Megathread
      carnut0913
      • 1 Year Ago
      They are just waiting until they get 4 matching wheels. Lol
      Brandon Perlow
      • 1 Year Ago
      Really DUMB IDEA. The car is heavy as all hell. If you are going to design for electric, make a new car that takes advantage of no gasoline engines, give it a shorter wheelbase, make it light as possible. Better off using the TT RS as a starting point.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brandon Perlow
        [blocked]
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      The e-tron isn't going to happen. Personally, I be surprised any of the numerous electric/hybrid supercars succeed. The only one that did was the Tesla Roadster and not only did they start with a tiny Lotus Elise, but they also had the rare talents of Elon Musk behind the company. A man with a ridiculous list of engineering awards to his name: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk#Awards_and_recognition
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
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