Sit down and grab some popcorn, the electric supercar wars are about to begin.
The short lived hurrah of electric sports cars like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive or the Audi R8 e-tron is something to be mourned, but even when each car’s respective automaker pulled the plug on these models, it was easy to see that the battery-driven sports car was far from dead. On the contrary, these two offerings were more like appetizers before magnetically-driven motors took over, and according to Evo’s latest findings, the main course is right around the corner.
Speaking with CEO Stephan Winkelmann at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Evo learned what we all just assumed was going to happen anyways, that an electric Audi sports car would hit the market by 2021. As part of the Volkswagen Group’s $50 billion investment in the electrification of its lineup, some wise product planners thought it smart to make an appealing sports car to show the world just what the German automaker could do when its racing engineers and electric experts were put together in a room and taken off the leash. “It should be a car that is above anything else that we have in the range at the time and utilize the very latest and the best technology available,” said Winkelmann.
At current, the world’s most cutting-edge electric hypercars are built by small bespoke automakers and sold for a small fortune. Audi’s ultimate goal is to produce an all electric hypercar that’ll duke it out with game-changers like the Rimac Concept One, but before that it wants a electric sports car to provide a stepping stone. “By 2020-21 we will have one fully electric [Audi Sport] car, a full BEV [battery electric vehicle]. I think if you are going to make this statement you have to do it properly. If I have the choice I will go full electric.” As one might expect, this vehicle should eliminate some of the impracticalities of the R8 e-tron by adding range, shortening charge times, and competing directly with the gas-powered R8 V10. Stay tuned.