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.
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.
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.