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Audi R8 e-tron: road paved with doubts.

The e-tron is the long postponed fully electric supercar project from Audi, based on the Audi R8. Recent news came from Audi that the A2 electric had been cancelled, and that plans for the e-tron had also been sidelined for the time being. It’s an announcement that’s all too familiar, with the recent cancellation of Jaguar’s C-X75.

The e-tron project is powered by state of the art lithium-ion batteries, driving a pair of electric motors to give the car around 375bhp, and 604lb of torque.  This engine can hit 60 in just over 4 seconds, and can reach 155mph without the limiter. Recent tests of the electric R8 on track proved that the e-tron can compete well with its V8 twin. A full lap of the Nurburgring in Germany was run in an impressive 8 minutes and 9 seconds, only 5 seconds slower than the petrol car.

The problem with the e-tron in its current form is the practicality. A full charge will take at least 12 hours, and only allows a range of 134 miles. Simply put, Audi have stated that the technology simply isn’t good enough to take the project to the next level. From their perspective, it may be some time until an electric supercar becomes viable to manufacture.

However, the last word from Audi was “never say never”. Fingers crossed this one is left on the backburner: that would mean it’s not been 4 years wasted on the development of the e-tron.

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Lee Sibbald

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