Audi may finally be getting serious about its EV game. Reuters is reporting that not only will the R8 e-tron go on sale next year, but Audi is putting together a comprehensive line up of EVs that include everything from a Tesla-fighting sedan to a Model X competitor.
With BMW i getting up to speed and Tesla carving out a nice slice of the EV pie, Audi's been waffling in the electric department. Plans to produce the R8 e-tron have been on and off and on again so many times we've lost count since it debuted in 2009.
We've heard the primary problem is range, and Reuters confirms that, saying that Audi's top brass didn't want to produce something that was incapable of getting at least 400 km (250 miles) on a charge. When the numbers came in and the R8 e-tron topped out at 134 miles, the VW mothership told Audi to shelve it. But this revamped R8 is said to have a range of 280 miles thanks to a more efficient motor and by limiting some of the on-board power drains.
The other sticking point was platforms. With the adoption of the MLB architecture – currently underpinning the A8 and Porsche Cayenne – Audi can use its Lego-like modularity to fit electric motors and a battery pack. An electric sedan based on the A8 would line up nicely against the Model S, and Reuters also says that part of Audi's plans include a Q8 EV to take on the Model X.
But sources say Audi is looking even further out, with "blueprints for several high-performance electric saloons and sport-utility vehicles" in the pipeline.