Audi has consistently stated that
its R8 e-tron
, an all-electric version of its R8 supercar, would be launched on the market by the end of 2012. With Audi recently setting
the Nürburgring lap record for a production EV with a prototype built to production specs, as well as providing details about the car’s new digital rear-view mirror
, it seemed as though development of the car was continuing as scheduled.
However, Car and Driver
is reporting that development work on the R8 e-tron has stopped and that the car’s original launch date will have to be pushed back. Worse still, the magazine claims there’s a chance the entire project could be killed.
It is claimed that Audi’s new R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer called for the delay so that the car’s development can be reviewed. There are reportedly a number of concerns, one of them being the high cost of the battery.
It could also be because existing electric cars like the Tesla Model S can already accelerate faster than the R8 e-tron’s claimed 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds and match the car's 125 mph top speed. Audi hasn’t announced a driving range yet, though it will be a tough task besting the Model S’ EPA-rated 265 miles.
Some readers may recall that Audi will also no longer build a new A2 electric car
based on its concept from the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. Once again high costs were cited as the likely reason for the project’s demise.
We’ll bring an update as soon as Audi comments on the matter.