The cancelled Audi R8 e-tron battery-powered supercar will be produced after a re-engineering programme has increased the model’s range from 134 miles to 279 miles. The revised model, based on the new-generation platform shared with the Lamborghini Huracan, will be built to order.
Speaking at this morning’s Audi annual press conference, Ulrich Hackenberg, board member for technical development, said that he had “had a close look” at the original concept after joining Audi last July.
Hackenberg said his team had managed to dramatically increase the range of the supercar because of “progress in battery technology” and a new way of packaging the batteries that was “far more space efficient”.
Hackenberg didn’t give a time frame for the R8 e-Tron production model, but did say that it would continue to be used as a development test bed, with drive-by-wire technology likely to be added to future versions of the concept.
Audi will also launch the replacement for the Q7 SUV later this year – refuting recent claims that it had been delayed – as well as a much-upgraded version of the A8, which is timed to take on the new Mercedes S-class. The new A8, Audi said, would incorporate “piloted driving” technology, which will allow the car to drive itself in lower speed “stop-go” driving situations.
When the TT arrives later this year, Audi will launch a super-frugal version, dubbed the TT Ultra. Powered by a 2.0-litre TDI engine, the Ultra will be rated at just 110g/km CO2. Hackenberg said that Audi was already thinking about “further TT derivatives” in addition to the “possible” TT Shooting Brake.
Hackenberg added that Audi’s design language “would continue to be developed” under the brand’s new styling chief Marc Lichte. Autocar has previously spoken to well-placed sources that claimed that while company stylists were keen to “move Audi’s styling language on”, board members were less keen to risk a hitherto highly successful formula.