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Audi pulls the plug on R8 e-tron electric super car

by Drew Johnson

Audi has scrapped plans to sell a version of its R8 e-tron.

Audi has decided to pull the plug on its all-electric R8 e-tron super car, giving the viability of the electric car yet another black eye. The R8 e-tron was originally scheduled to go on sale next year, but Audi has decided to cancel the project in favor of more practical plug-in hybrid technology.

Audi confirmed to Wired this week that it has canceled plans for a mass-market version of the R8 e-tron that began making its rounds at the auto shows three years ago. The project won't be a complete wash, though, as Audi plans to produce 10 examples of the R8 e-tron for internal evaluation.

Audi's shift in direction can be attributed to new R&D head Wolfgang Dürheimer, who isn't quite sold on the merits of an electric super car. Dürheimer was reportedly disappointed in the R8 e-tron's limited range and decided Audi's money would be better spent on plug-in hybrid technology.

Audi is now shifting its focus to plug-in hybrid versions of its A1, A3, A4, A6 and Q7 models, which will allow for some zero-emissions driving while eliminating range anxiety.

With the Audi R8 e-tron officially off the table, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive will be the world's lone remaining electric super car.

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