The on and off again Audi R8 e-tron electric supercar is back on again after overcoming range and battery issues.
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Audi showed the model at the eTron concept for the first time at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show but the plan for production seemed to have been thwarted by packaging problems.

Audi’s chief technical officer, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, said the company had made some breakthroughs in pushing its case for the R8 eTron since he was appointed to the role in mid 2013.

“I was looking for reasons why [the R8 e-tron] was cancelled, and one was the range – about only 225/230 kilometres,” Dr Hackenberg told Australian media including CarAdvice at this month’s Geneva motor show. “And with the team we found the possibility to be beyond 400 … between 400 and 500 [km].

Audi R8 eTron profile

“We are thinking maybe to realise that [R8 e-tron as a production car]… I personally need such a car as a technology vehicle to bring in new technologies, step by step – every half year or every year [there will be] something more.

“In Volkswagen [where I was development chief] I used the XL1 as such a car. For Audi, the R8 e-tron would be good car for doing such things, so I am fighting for that.

Dr Hackenberg said the production decision would be made shortly, and the expectation is the Audi board will give it the green light.

It’s likely to be based on the next-generation Audi R8 twinned with the new Lamborghini Huracan and due in 2015.

Powered by two electric motors each generating 280kW of power and 820Nm of torque, the Audi R8 e-tron concept is claimed to reach 100km/h in 4.6 seconds and set a lap record at the Nurburgring in 2012 for an electric ‘production’ vehicle.