The Audi R8 e-tron has been dropped
It has been confirmed that the Audi R8 e-tron, electric vehicle, will not be produced, though the vehicle has opened up the way for an improved focus on plug in hybrid vehicles.
The news was announced at a company technology day, in which the press were invited to drive one of the e-tron prototypes by Wolfgang Durheimer, the Audi R&D boss.
The company had originally planned to market the vehicle for a little more than the Audi R8 model, the V10 plus, which costs £128,710, though the cost of the 530 Sanyo supplied battery cells hasn’t declined enough for the company to make a significant profit. Though, lessons that have been learnt from the e-tron project, such as the brake by wire rear braking technology and aluminium and carbon fibre chassis and e-torque vectoring are more than likely to appear in the company’s next R8 model.
Whilst the company has put the R8 e-tron project to one side, it is still committed to a variety of cars that are alternatively powered. Wolfgang Durheimer has said that Audi was now towards a three point set of demands from customers for such models. He explained that firstly you need to have all day mobility. Secondly, you need to be able to finish the trip, so a guarantee of reliability and the car shouldn’t come with any inconvenience, for example a reduce in boot space.
Audi will now be focusing on the A3 Sportback e-tron
So now instead of the Audi R8 e-tron which was certainly grabbing headlines for the company, Audi will now be putting it’s weight behind the A3 Sportback e-tron, which is said to be arriving in the United Kingdom early 2014. The company claim that the car has a 30 mile all electric range, Co2 emissions of 35g and 188.3 mpg, while also featuring a combined system output of 201 brake horsepower. The car can go from 0-62 milrs per hour in 7.6 seconds and has a top speed of 138 miles per hour. Prices in the United Kingdom have not been confirmed as of yet, though the car will have a starting price of £32,500 in Germany.
Wolfgang Durheimer also confirmed that the company have started work on a fuel cell A7. The model will be completed by August of this year and will use Hydrogen that is made in the company’s new wind powered plant in Germany, where syntheric methane that is used for the Audi A3 sportback g-tron which is CNG powered is also produced.