First Real Competition? 280 Mile Audi R8 E-Tron

First Real Competition? 280 Mile Audi R8 E-Tron

The price is probably not going to be in the ballpark, but the range is pretty impressive as were the old specs:

381 hp
605 pound-feet of torque
0 to 62 in ~ 4 seconds
Top speed 124 mph

redacted | March 11, 2014

I wonder if Audi is going to build a supercharger network?

carlk | March 11, 2014

It will sit two and costs more than twice as P85+. The rest of specs do match those of MS though. As always the Audi does look cool.

Mathew98 | March 11, 2014

Yay. We need more i8 competitions! | March 11, 2014

Not an i8 competitor - this is a 280 mile (ideal miles, I assume) BEV. I agree with @carik that the price will likely be 2X the P85+. However, they can steal a page from Elon's playbook and have the battery tech trickle down into the rest of the Audi product line and horizontally into other VW Group products.


negarholger | March 11, 2014

Top speed 124 mph... Germans will be disapointed.

AmpedRealtor | March 11, 2014

So Audi basically just introduced its response to the Roadster.

No thanks.

Mathew98 | March 11, 2014

Once these 2 seats roadsters goes to $150K to $200K range, they become toys for selected few.

So i8 / R2 Etron are competitors of a different sort. They won't be competing in EV range per se. They will be competing in the same bragging rights and rich toy segments.

Dollar to donuts, the prospective buyers of these cars wouldn't be worried about range for long road trips as there are no rooms for luggage. They would most likely fly to the destination instead.

ramtaz | March 11, 2014

COST??? R8 E-tron go for it !! “if you have to ask”… HOW MUCH??
NO pricing information available , but one word can be used!! : EXPENSIVE.
At least 1 1/2 times more than P85+ and no superchargers??

shop | March 11, 2014

Let's see, not mass produced, very expensive, two seater, lower top speed than Tesla Model S, no superchargers. No, I don't think it'll be much of a competitor.

AmpedRealtor | March 11, 2014

And don't forget, it's "built upon request"... bound to be a real winner from a mechanical and reliability standpoint.

carlk | March 11, 2014

@Kliest +1 I wonder where those German trolls are now.

@ramtaz An R8 V10 costs 1 1/2 times P85+. e-tron sure will cost considerably more.

BTW isn't this car just a Roadster except the Audi packaging? | March 11, 2014

You guys are missing the point--forget the R8 and recognize that VW Group apparently has a battery pack good for 270 miles that they can propagate into the rest of their product lines (Audi, Porsche, VW, etc) and, unlike Tesla, they can subsidize the cost of the pack via their ICE profits.

The sky is not falling, if the battery pack proves out, its really the first serious competition for Tesla. That being said, I am not sure Elon would consider the electrification of VW Group a bad thing.


Mathew98 | March 11, 2014

@Omar - I'm sure GM can force a 300 miles battery pack in their Suburban now. The issue is how much would each 300 miles battery pack costs GM per vehicle? How much more can they charge for an EV version of the Suburban?

If VW can reduce their battery cost by 300% and be competitive to TM, then the more power to them. This would fit within Elon's Utopian world of true EV competition.

holidayday | March 11, 2014

Finally! A car with range competitive with Tesla!

Once VW group creates an international SuperCharger network to keep it powered. . .
along with a second generation Sedan that comes in much cheaper. . .
And then an affordable third generation "people car - volkswagen". . .
Good to see Audi stepping it up a notch.

Captain_Zap | March 11, 2014

I was waiting for the Audi R7 to be released in the US when I stumbled onto the Model S release dates.
The R7 was never released.

Now there is little evidence of the Audi R7 left on the internet.

carlk | March 11, 2014

@omarsultan Anyone can make a 100 kWh battery pack. Even you can do it. No? | March 11, 2014

1) How do you know VW would not license the SuperCharger - Tesla has indicated their willingness to do it under the right circumstances and it supports their vision for large scale electrification of automobiles

2) Large companies like VW and GM can pick whatever price point they want. The look at profitability across the life of a product not at an individual product basis, and they will happily play with pricing to jamb up the competition--remember that parts and service is a significant revenue stream for them. If they lose the initial sale to Tesla, then not only have they lost the immediate revenue but also several years of parts and service revenue.

3) GM has not hinted at a 300 mile pack and it would not make sense in a Suburban anyway -- too much weight

4) Perhaps "anyone" can make a 100kWh battery pack in a lab, but other than Tesla, only VW seems to have productized something that large


AmpedRealtor | March 11, 2014

Looks like Audi is only 6 years late to this party...

carlk | March 11, 2014

My point is putting even a 100kWh battery in a $200K+ car accomplishes nothing for the EV revolution other than the PR value. Anyone can do it if cost is not a consideration but cost is always THE consideration. You can say EV has arrived when, and only then, someone could make a 60 kWh or so battery at a cost of less than $10K. | March 11, 2014

A lot of smugness on the boards today - VW Group should not be taken lightly - they absolutely have it in their power to blow up Gen III plans.


redacted | March 11, 2014

jam, not jamb.

I'd love to see other companies contributing to the supercharger network. I think Elon would like that too. He's not afraid of competition, this is why he built the company, to bring it about sooner.

carlk | March 11, 2014

Yeah right, they and Toyota the two biggest ICE auto companies in the world will do everything they could to make non-ICE car of the future.

NomoDinos | March 11, 2014

Hmmm... second tier range, slower 0-60, less practical, no supercharger network, lower top speed, unproven reliability... but I must admit, that is still one sexy piece of sheet metal. I'll bet it has two cup holders per person, too.

If it gets too expensive, it might as well be competing with the Rimac concept one. | March 11, 2014

@carik: one way to do that is to starve the innovator (Tesla) to regain control of the market


Mathew98 | March 11, 2014

Omar - I think the rest of the folks aren't as impressed with the Etron offering now as it poses no competitions to Tesla for some time.

Perhaps VW is copying TM's playbook to offer ultra luxury play toy initially. Then propagate the EV tech to mid range cars, and finally to entry level vehicles.

It would take several iterations / years / perhaps a decade in order for VW to catch up to where TM will be by 2017 (MX, G3). If this is indeed VW's road map, then Elon just succeeded in the first step of eliciting a competing EV offering, even if they're six years behind...

David Trushin | March 11, 2014

Never underestimate the competition. If Toyota and VW truly wanted to capture market share with an EV they could do it. The only thing at this time is that they don't really want to do it. Toyota has a great mass market EV in the Tesla based RAV4. But they only sell it in California and that's only to meet the emissions standards in that state. There is a person in Illinois that ordered one and had it shipped here, but can't get it serviced at a Toyota place. Audi selling cars built on request is also an indication that they don't take EVs seriously. (Tesla also builds on request if you think about it. But they are committed to EVs.) I think this is the key to why VW and Toyota are years from competing with Tesla. It's the lack of commitment not the technology.

negarholger | March 11, 2014

@AR - "built upon request" - that smells like a new (for Audi) sales model. Maybe even home delivery with a product specialist?

carlk | March 11, 2014

@David Trushin Agreed. Business history tells us established companies that dominate the market never do well when facing new disruptive product and technology. Ego certainly plays a role but there is also the reality part. Do they try to make the new product goes away or do they really want to go in full force and help hasten the demise of the legacy products that have served them so well? Their hands are really tied in the fight. It's usually too late when they finally realized they have no choice but to do the later.

In addition company politic in any big corporations does not favor a full out fight either. The old guards who usually hold the key positions would not want the company to focus in the new area that resulted in their losing the power base. The large resource big companies have can be more of a hinderance than advantage.

Was Kodak able to takeover the digital photography market, or Blockbuster able to takeover DVD by mail and video steaming market, or Blackberry to takeover the smart phone market when they first saw the new technology showed up. They certainly had the power but they never could execute for reasons stated above. Another common theme is they all have put some half arsed effort at some point but it's always too little and too late. The business battlefield is littered with once formidable companies like Kodak, Blockbuster and Blackberry. Never say never that many of those major auto companies, even the top ones today, will not be added to this list.

Brian H | March 11, 2014

IIRC, Euro mileage ratings are about 40% inflated over the EPA numbers, so figure 200 ideal miles, 150 real-world (w/o heavy accel!).

PJDoty | March 11, 2014

Kudos to Audi. 605 pound-feet of torque is pretty amazing. Is that front-end designed for moving cattle? | March 11, 2014

Funny thing about Audi building the E-Tron "upon customer request" ... that's how my Model S was built, as I recall, although we called it an "order."

Suturecabre | March 11, 2014

The insurance difference on R8s vs. P85s seems large also, I wonder how this would compare? Probably cheaper than V10 R8 with low top speed and EV mechanical simplicity, but still a good deal more than Model S. GT-R insurance in places like Newark NJ is high enough to be a significant portion of the price of the car so I guess this wouldn't be so bad after all!

And yes, Audi has cleaned up their act along with the rest of the Germans to the point where their reliability is no longer atrocious, but still behind BMW and Mercedes, and I wouldn't want the German penchant for electrical gremlins showing up in an all-electric vehicle. I was satisfied with them enough that I considered an R8 daily driver for a brief second before doing the math and realizing how much cheaper to operate, fun, and usable the MS would be instead, and now that I've had some time to spend with it, I appreciate how it is unlike any other car much better now.

negarholger | March 11, 2014

@Pettifogger - that is biggest news for me in the whole story... is Audi sneaking in a direct sales model? I know Audi was playing with the idea before...

Mark K | March 12, 2014

Well, better than nothing from Audi, I guess.

A hand-built conversion of the existing R8 at an unannounced exotic price is a half-hearted effort.

The i3 is not exactly sexy, but at least BMW is tooling for some kind of volume.

All of these legacy titans are doing things more for appearances rather than getting in the game. So far, not a single compelling offering like the Model S.

It's a shame. This course will not end well for them.

NomoDinos | March 12, 2014

Squeezing the laaaast bits of juice out of the old electric typewriter instead of investing in computers.

KWTESLA | March 12, 2014

I read about the next great electric car for years. Remember Zap ! Most of those have never been built.
Audi's concept will cost $200,000 weigh 6,000 lbs. and you can only drive it in your
neighborhood , until they cut a deal with Tesla on Supercharging this is going nowhere.
The real issue with the next generation of Lithium Ion packs is cooling. Tesla has that one dialed in by now.

AmpedRealtor | March 12, 2014

Tesla and Audi would make interesting bedfellows in fighting the dealer monopolies in Arizona, Texas and now New Jersey.

jackhub | March 12, 2014

Nice. I'm interested in seeing one on the road rather in an announcement. Available as ordered sounds expensive.

AmpedRealtor | March 12, 2014

"Upon customer request" sounds much more expensive than "build to order".

carolinagobo | March 12, 2014

Competition for the exclusive BMW i8 not Tesla.