Audi pulls the plug on the R8 e-tron
The promised all-electric supercar won't be available to the general public.
After debuting the R8 e-tron at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show and then parading it around every major motor show -- and don’t forget the famed Nurburgring lap last June -- Audi will only build 10 test models. Instead, Audi board member and newly appointed technical-development honcho Wolfgang Dürheimer is shifting Audi’s research to more practical plug-in hybrids, citing the high price tag of the supercar and range anxiety. The R8 e-tron has a 49-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery that returns about 134 miles on single charge.
But at least one Audi e-model will still get some street time in the U.S. this year.
Audi plans to produce plug-in hybrid versions of the A1, A3, A4, A6 and Q7 models whose batteries can be charged via a household outlet, which the automaker hopes will alleviate range anxiety. Audi is testing the A3 e-tron, a plug-in hybrid variant of the A3 hatchback, in designated U.S. cities as part of an 18-month trial.
As we reported earlier, Audi also plans to replace its legendary quattro all-wheel-drive system system with e-Quattro, which uses batteries and an electric motor to power the rear axle and a gas engine to power the front axle, requiring no driveshaft or central differential to split the torque. While this could improve fuel efficiency, the cost and complexity of batteries could be a concern.
However, don’t write Audi out of the e-race just yet. The automaker completed a three-year collaborative research project with Bosch and a consortium of German universities to develop a variable voltage system for greater efficiency. While the project’s F12 concept car used a production R8 shell, it was never completed.
While Audi has made lots of empty promises, perhaps the F12 research will find its way into the R8 e-trons still locked in the lab -- or better yet, one of the other Audi e-tron models.
Good for Audi! At least they pulled the plug early so to speak and are not asking the German citizens to financial bail them out for some massively expensive and under performing vehicle like some American auto manufactures do. Hint: Chevy Volt.
Hydrogen is a gas and must be put under pressure which is dangerous and we have no infrastructure setup to deliver or store the hydrogen. Also the main way hydrogen is made is using natural gas and electricity thus more CO2.
Pure electric is made by producing CO2 via coal , nuke and CNG , but the batteries are made from very pollutant heavy processes , and our national GRID is already running at 90% adding tens of millions of more thirsty autos to the outlets won't help. Also parking lots full of outlets??? come on.
Bio fuel = easy delivery + good for the air + pump and go convenience = winner
not for 134 miles it wont thuink bigger audi
as for the electronic quatro
as an avid 4x4 driver,i dont like that idea it seems like a bitch and a half to replace
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