Bad news, luxury car fans – Wired just confirmed Audi has scrapped its plans to sell the all-electric R8 e-tron coupe. Sources at the company cited shortcomings in battery technology and differing priorities from Audi’s new head of research and development.
Three years ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi announced its intentions to put the R8 e-tron concept car into production within the next four years. Appearing at every major auto show since its debut, the electric car has also taken part in the LeMans circuit during a pre-race demonstration and completed a remarkable 8 minute 9 second lap around the Nürburgring circuit in Germany. Despite its high profile and positive performance, in May new research and development head Wolfgang Dürheimer took his position in the company and halted production plans. The former Bentley CEO and development chief for Porsche decided that the R8 e-tron was not viable due to its limited range and decided to focus more on Audi’s plug-in hybrids.
While the R8 e-tron will not available for mass production, Audi still intends to produce 10 of the cars for internal evaluation. Hopefully Audi will soon get back in gear and work towards perfecting its all-electric coup for the market.