Audi Wants To Build An Electric Supercar With Solid-State Batteries

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The automaker also confirmed the e-tron GT won't be a successor to the Audi R8.

With the Rimac C_Two and Tesla Roadster representing the current pinnacle of EV performance, it's inevitable that other automakers want to catch up. Audi is considering building a fully electric supercar to rival Rimac, but existing battery technology is holding the company back. "We consider everything at the moment but I personally believe we need a little bit more battery development," Peter Oberndorfer, Audi's boss of product and technology communications, told Motoring.

"Because if you go very fast you need a lot of battery and don't want to spend three days going from the Nurburgring to Munich or the other way around." With current lithium-ion battery technology, the 340-mile trip would require frequent recharging. Oberndorfer believes that future solid-state batteries will achieve the combination of performance and range. "Our development boss Peter Mertens is speaking of solid-state batteries, which are still a few years away, but I think it would be an advantage if it will be developed, so that batteries are getting lighter and need less space," he said.

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To speed up getting these batteries into production, Oberndorfer also hinted that Audi could enlist a technology partner. In theory, Audi could also work with other Volkswagen Group brands to develop the technology. After all, Porsche believes that solid-state batteries could provide the desired performance for a fully electric 911. Once this breakthrough happens, it should usher a new era of frighteningly-fast EVs. Toyota, Nissan, and Honda are also currently developing solid-state battery tech, though Toyota recently said they probably won't be mass produced until around 2030.

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Whether Audi's next-generation supercar replaces the Audi R8, which could be axed in a few years, remains to be seen, but the executive confirmed the e-tron GT will not be Audi's new halo car. "We will have very sporty battery-electric cars. [Audi CEO] Mr Stadler gave a hint to the so-called e-tron GT, whether that will be the final name or not. That is a very sporty four-door car, not the successor to the R8." Let's hope both cars have a longer production run than the shortlived Audi R8 e-tron, which was killed off in 2016.

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