Audi builds the new E-Tron GT electric sedan on the same production line as the R8, meaning that the site can already make EVs. Top Gear asked Duesmann about the prospects of building an electric R8. "That wasn’t the original idea," he told Top Gear. "But it could make sense. We could do it if we wanted to."
Gallery: 2015 Audi R8 e-tron
Audi introduced the original R8 E-Tron at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Its two-motor powertrain made 456 horsepower (340 kilowatts) and 679 pound-feet (920 Newton-meters) of torque. The vehicle weighed 4,056 pounds (1,840 kilograms), versus 3,428 pounds (1,555 kilograms) in the base R8 from the same time.
The model turned out to be a total failure, and Audi only managed to sell fewer than 100 of them. The €1 million price tag certainly didn't help lure buyers.
After that catastrophe, the Audi R8 product manager said the company was holding off on building an EV version until the available battery tech was better. The major issue was the cost per kilowatt of the battery.
Duesmann also dropped a few new details about the Audi Artemis project. "It’s a battery car with a new onboard network and level 4 autonomous driving," he told Top Gear.
The version for the Four Rings arrives in 2024, and Bentley and Porsche would get versions later. Duesmann says that the Level 4 self-driving ability might not be available at launch because of the challenge of creating this tech. VW's Trinity project vehicle would make use of some of these features.