Contrary to our October 2012 report, it appears Audi's R8 E-Tron program is back on track, if a report from Australia is to be believed. Drive is reporting that the German brand has changed its mind and won't be sacking the program, despite previously stated concerns about the quality and price of batteries for the R8-based EV.

We last saw the R8 E-Tron prototype in the snows of northern Europe, although footage of the car has been non-existent since that wintry test. This new report claims that a small number of R8 E-Trons will see production, which gels with what we heard back in 2012 and supposed earlier this year. Apparently, some new sort of lithium-ion battery technology has allowed for a drastic increase in range, with rumors of the original 130 miles going up to around 250. According to Drive, this makes the project feasible again.

"Our engineers and technicians are further developing the car and its electric drive system. The range has grown significantly, allowing the potential for a small-scale production," an unnamed, but high-ranking Audi employee told the Aussies.

While we'd like to see Audi bring a production version of its EV supercar to market, the back-and-forth nature of its development has left us wondering if it'll ever arrive, even on a small scale. We'd still take this one with a grain of salt, despite what does seem like positive news for Audi's sporty EV.


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  • 19 Comments
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      if there really is a new method that will a doubling of range with the same size battery pack, that could revolutionize the entire electric vehicle industry.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      Its the increase in energy density which is the important thing, if true. Not the R8, although it is sure some car.
      Val
      • 1 Year Ago
      so, they finally gave up and switched to the same battery as tesla???
      Tweaker
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just another headline-grabber from VAG. I wouldn't expect anything less than another worthless proclamation.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      DaveMart
      • 1 Year Ago
      'Among the changes made to the R8 e-tron to enhance its suitability for production is a new lithium battery technology featuring an alternative chemical process and, it is claimed, greater energy density than the original 48.6kWh unit.' http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/audi-r8-etron-to-be-built-20131213-2zaud.html They are talking about the range going up from 215km to 'nearly 400km!' If we guess that as being 390km, that is around an 80% increase in energy density! If this holds water, that is the way to do it, and should transform the prospects of the E-Up and E-Golf, although of course money is no object at the rarified level of the R8 e-tron, and we have no idea of cost, as well as absolutely no confirmation of this attractive rumour anyway.
      tool0117
      • 1 Year Ago
      It would be nice to have a more performance version of something like a Tesla S, as opposed to, say, a Porsche 918. $100k region, 350 hpish, 400-500 lb-ft torque, 300-400 mile range. Maybe I'm dreaming, but that would be a NICE option for a more useable performance electric car
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @tool0117
        By the way, the Model S performance package already has the performance you are looking for. The peak torque figure they state is very much like a continuous torque figure. Therefore it is greater than the equivalent of what a gasoline engine would put out. What Tesla has done with their motor controls is dramatically limit the initial torque ( if the motor were saturated, it would likely put out an axle/drivetrain/tire shredding 1000ft-lb from a stall ) and cause the entire torque band to be stiff up to say 100mph or higher. It will beat a Dodge Viper SRT10 in a drag race. If that's not fast enough for you, i dunno what to tell ya.. Start doing some turbo mods to a Corvette Z07 or whatnot because in the $100k range, you are not going to find many gas powered cars that can beat the Tesla Model S, if any exist.
        Koenigsegg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @tool0117
        70 miles of range is well more than enough
      FREEPAT75014
      • 1 Year Ago
      I will never buy this car, but for me it had been a symbol of Audi understanding during a very short period of time, right at the beginning of the eTron story, what may be the "car of the future". Basically it's a sort of TESLA (Radical all electric drive train), with a reasonnable battery size, PLUS a German quality ICE Range Extender that the Teslas are missing to become a real car replacement for today world, used as pure Electric Power Generator (= Much smaller Non Tracting ICE engine). Only this approach allows to make the savings required to fund the > 40KWH battery required here, since it allows to pull the huge ICE engine, its enormous Gearbox and transmission, and with the $ and the weight released, fund a large battery pack, one engine per weel or per axis, and go. All other Hybrids done so far keep everything and add the Electric engines and battery on top, so to make them fit in budget, they have to downsize everything and make a too complex and too expensive car, good for nothing. Let's see if from that they will again target the real car of the future.
      danfred411
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is no new battery tech. They are just stupid and struggling. They are so used to the wasteful incompetent engineering of the crap R8 that they don't know what to do with the limited energy in lithium batts. They probably keep ending up with something dumb like Merc did with the SLS and a very high price. Unlike Merc they don't want to release it with a comical price tag so they are in a stalemate. What the nitwits don't understand is that the key to EV viability is low weight and aerodynamics. Contrary to the moronic R8. Then things suddenly get very easy.
      JakeY
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'll wait to see it. There's been too much back and forth on this car.
      itsme38269
      • 1 Year Ago
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaporware I'll believe it when I see it. Until then, everyone needs to stop talking about this car. It will never happen.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @itsme38269
        Yep, they should only talk about things that you approve as a subject. Please share the source of your inside information that this will not be built, or are you simply making a vapour comment, ie one without any foundation?
      danfred411
      • 1 Year Ago
      This car will always be a joke until they realize that low weight, low drag, high performance is the key to EV success. They keep wanting to electrify their old stupidity and that just wont fly.
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