Technology

Tesla Motors Inc Rival Coming From Audi Soon On Request Only

Tesla Motors list of rival electric cars is growing at a brisk pace, and the latest entrant to that list is an upcoming product from luxury car maker Audi. Audi launched the raging V10-powered, 610 horsepower 2016 R8 Supercar on Wednesday and also made an unexpected announcement that a battery-packed two-seat coupe will also be available this year.

Tesla Motors Inc Rival Coming From Audi Soon On Request Only

Upon special request only

The latest announcement from Audi could emerge as a challenge to the Tesla Model S, which has a battery capacity of 85 kWh, whereas the Audi R8 will feature a 92 kilowatt-hour capacity. The German car manufacturer said the battery is enough to run 280 miles on a full charge. However, Audi will not launch the electric version as a regular production model but will build it to order on special request.

“Audi uses the electrical high-performance sports car primarily as a mobile high-tech laboratory,” said the automaker’s management, adding, “Upon customer request, the R8 e-tron will be available for order in 2015 as an electrically powered sports car in supreme hand-built quality.”

There is no confirmation from Audi on whether the R8 e-tron is rear or all-wheel drive, but with 456 hp and 679 lb-feet of torque on tap, it is powerful enough to zoom up to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, compared to 3.4 seconds for the four-door Model S P85D, says a report from Fox News. Both cars have a speed cap of 155 mph.

There is no confirmation on pricing, but traditionally, R8s are priced over $175,000, which indicates that the R8e-tron will cost more than that. Also it is still not confirmed if this model will go on sale in the United States.

Tesla Model S rules

Separately, for the second time in a row, Tesla Model S has been nameed “Best Overall” vehicle to buy for 2015 by Consumer Reports. The report noted that the buyers of the Tesla Model S are more content with their new cars compared to buyers of any other models.

Tesla Motors’ service experience has also been rated best by Consumer Reports, which based its their decision on accumulated customer experience while getting their cars fixed or repaired at any Tesla-owned service centers.

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  • garry

    @Aaron – I did look at “plugshare.com.” It described about 4 charge points north of Sheboygan on the way to Vilas County … all were 120 volts. Per Tesla’s own site, it would take 52 hours @120 volts to achieve a full charge. You commented that EV’s might take a little more planning. In your previous comment you said, “The Model S can get you anywhere in the US an ICE vehicle can, with no fuss.” You seem a little confused and sadly mistaken if you think driving an S through northern Wisconsin on a dark single digit night will not be difficult, require much planning, more time and lot’s of fuss and anxiety. In those conditions the bright glow of a convenient service station is far preferable to an obscure charge point that will require 25 hours for half a charge. I believe you would be quite humbled if you rolled into Pembine WI with 7 miles of range and 5 degree temps.

    I am not one to presume how the EPA will rate the Toyota. I do know it is immune to temps as low as -31C. FACTS published in many places show that even a Tesla P85 cruising at high Interstate speeds in bitter temps with HVAC on can lose as much as 40% of its range. Place your Li-Ion flashlight outside overnight on a cold day and see how bright it is the next morning.

    I sure don’t know how all of this will pan out. I certainly cannot guarantee anything. I think electric motors are far superior to ICE’s. As to what powers the motors … only time will provide the answers.

  • Aaron

    Why don’t you look at “plugshare . com” and tell me their aren’t any charging points north of Sheboygan. EVs might take a little more planning, but if he had to do all that to make the trek…he didn’t plan very well. Not to mention that he’s driving the 60Kwh version of the Model S, the smallest battery pack currently offered…

    I don’t care if there are hydrogen corridors. The tech is overly complicated for use in a vehicle, difficult to extract/make, low on power per volume, and insanely expensive to install the necessary infrastructure to support wide adoption.

    The Toyota has not been rated by the EPA yet, but it will be less than 300. I can guarantee that.

    It aint going to happen.

  • garry

    @Aaron – It is evident that like me, you don’t own an S. As I mentioned above my best friend owns a P85 that he loves. When I drove it the first time, I couldn’t hide a wide smile. It is a great car. Still it has clear limitations. It cannot go anywhere in the US an ICE vehicle can with no fuss. My friend uses a Range Rover to go to his cottage in Vilas County WI. He told me on those trips he doesn’t want to “FUSS AROUND with charging. He just wants to go.” There are no superchargers north of Sheboygan WI and very few charge points of any kind. It would be very difficult to make that trip in summer … virtually impossible in winter with temps hovering in single digits. Feel free to Google an article entitled, “A Single Digit Holliday.” it was written by a Tesla owner driving from Lombard IL to Minneapolis on a cold fall day. He describes scraping ice from his windows and wearing winter clothes to avoid using the HVAC. He writes about having to drive 55MPH on I-94 to converse power. He wrote about pulling into a dark cold Northern town with four miles of range. He made it but in the last sentence he said he and his wife were “blessed.” Not with the car … but to have completed the trip. Of course, that route has 100’s of petrol stations. Even if an ICE car runs out of gas, a gallon from a passing police officer, farmer or friendly motorist can one underway. A BEV must be towed to a suitable charge point. A modicum of common sense reminds people in some northern regions a BEV will not meet their needs.

    Hydrogen a scam? Please Google, “The Scandanavian Hydrogen Highway.” You will see a hydrogen highway is already operational. Sweden, Norway and Denmark already produce, transport and store compressed hydrogen, much of it produced by clean hydro power. German and Italy also have counterparts. Hydrogen has far better energy density than Li-Ion batteries. A mere 11 lbs of compressed hydrogen powers a Toyota over 300 miles. The mighty P85D struggles to eck out 245 miles (EPA) using a ONE THOUSAND lb battery. A few more years will give us some answers.

  • RussellL

    “Tesla’s need only to cover highways at 100 mile intervals. Still, they’re far from doing so.”

    But they are working on it. Other manufacturers are claiming they will setup a fast charging network but when you uncover the details, you find out their chargers are not placed in strategic locations and are of lower power output because their cars’ battery pack can’t handle fast charging.

    “…the car had limitations before he bought it and does not take it beyond suburban Chicago. Summer drives down Lakeshore Drive are very nice. On week end trips to his lake house in WI he takes his Range Rover.”

    When you think about it, every car has limitations. My Mercedes E350 has a comfortable ride, but when I travel out of town for the weekend, I always take my SUV.

    “Battery technology must improve before BEV’s can become mainstream cars.”

    And Tesla is working on that too.

  • Aaron

    The Model S can get you anywhere in the US an ICE vehicle can, with no fuss. I’m not sure how hard you think it is to find places that offer EV charging…but it aint that difficult.

    Sure, there are places in the wilderness that you would have difficulty finding somewhere to charge…but those same places have limited petrol stations…and you can always run out of gas.

    It takes only a modicum of common sense to make a Model S work.

    Hydrogen is a scam, and it will fail.

  • garry

    @Dave_SRQ – Congratulations on your good choices. As I said, I couldn’t hide a smile when driving an S the first time. Still, on a long trip would your wife’s SUV prove to be more convenient? I hope Tesla has a long and prosperous history. You had the foresight to see their vast potential. I hope they find the battery technology that could make coast to coast travel as easy as your wife’s SUV. I was good hearing from someone that owns an S.

  • Aaron

    It’s not a rival…it will probably cost more than twice as much…and only a handful will be made.

  • Dave_SRQ

    @garry – I’m sure your friend is very smart, particularly since he managed to become a one percent(er). Well, I’ve owned a Model S for more than 2 years, and I’m not a one percent(er), but I was smart enough to purchase TSLA at $25, which allowed me to pay cash for my car.

    I’ve taken several road trips with the Model S. Unless you are venturing hundreds of miles from a major interstate, the current supercharger network is pretty good. Many hotels also have 240V charging (destination charging), so you even have a full tank in the morning (for free) when you leave your hotel. I wouldn’t hesitate to drive the Model S coast to coast today if I needed to, but to each his own. The Model S actually stores more than my wife’s SUV, but it’s no tow vehicle. So it’s not the right car for every purpose, but it’s far better than any other EV offering today.

  • garry

    @RusselIL – Thank you for your good thoughts. When distilling the transportation NEEDS of most people I think there are many wishes but only a few needs. Those needs are: Reliable transportation from point A to point B. Any late model ICE can fulfill that need whether in the Mojave Desert or Moosejaw Canada. It is true many ICE’s will not have an Alpine stereo or four wheel drive. Some may not even have air conditioning but all will get me from Chicago to Denver without any fuss. A Tesla cannot make that claim. With other BEV’s its not worth trying. On the other hand, in temperate climates such as California or Atlanta and many other places a BEV fulfills that NEED very capably. I think an S is a beautiful car with soul. You are right. Presently no other BEV can match it. But I think the window is closing within which Tesla can make an argument as a mainstream car. A car that can easily travel to the Grand Canyon or commute across town. A car that can cruise 80MPH across the Midwest using the HVAC. Right now they’re limited by Li-Ion technology. Meanwhile fuel cell cars have all the capability of our current ICE’s … but of course, no infrastructure. In Europe that is changing. The Scandanavian countries already have a hydrogen highway where hydrogen is produced, transported and stored allowing drivers to cruise across Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Much of the hydrogen is cleanly produced at hydro plants. Germany and Italy have followed. This shows it is possible.

    Unfortunately, the Toyota Mirai is just ugly. There is nothing about that stirs the soul. Still the technology is impressive. There will be other fuel cell cars that look good and and fill many needs. It is up to Tesla to close the window. Perhaps an honest 500 mile battery could accomplish that? It would open more destinations. Anyway, we’ll know more in a few years.

  • garry

    @RusselIL – You are correct … Tesla’s need only to cover highways at 100 mile intervals. Still, they’re far from doing so.

    My best friend has an S and allowed me to drive it many times. No question I had a big smile when I pressed the accelerator the first time. Equally impressive was the iPhone app that allows him to heat the car before he even steps in. It is a great car. My friend is is very smart with his life and his business. He is one of the less than 1% who can afford a P85. He reasoned the car had limitations before he bought it and does not take it beyond suburban Chicago. Summer drives down Lakeshore Drive are very nice. On week end trips to his lake house in WI he takes his Range Rover. I asked him about it and he just said, “On trips to the lake I don’t want to mess around with charging, I just want to go. So some smart people don’t want to spend time charging just anywhere. After all, per Tesla’s site, 110 volts @ 52 hours = 300 miles. A 240 volt outlet? 240 volts @ 9.5 hours = 300 miles (Of course few to no S models approach 300 miles in the real world). So any way one views it, charging other than superchargers is a time consuming effort. Battery technology must improve before BEV’s can become mainstream cars.

  • RussellL

    “Blazing cruise speeds on Interstate highways are important now.”

    Maybe for you, but not everybody else.

    “Please name ONE BEV that can keep up with our Outback on a ski trip from Chicago to Denver? Any BEV from any builder?”

    And there are numerous ICE vehicles that won’t do well in your situation either. Isn’t that why people choose a vehicle that fits their needs or lifestyle?

    As for BEVs, no other BEV can travel as far, go as fast, charge as quick and carry as much cargo & people as the Model S.

  • RussellL

    “…In the US Tesla currently has 165 units that must cover 3.8 million miles of roads.”

    Wrong, Tesla does not have to cover every road. Only the highways at 100 mile intervals.

    “Some states have none.”

    And Teslas still sell fine without it.
    The smart people know they can charge at any electrical outlet, not just at the Superchargers.

  • http://www.sin3rgy-creative.com/ David Liang

    It’s funny when critics talk about the price of the model S they say it’s not competitive, it’s niche and will be low sales. Then when a rival firm announces a new car like BMW or Audi that has a way higher price, suddenly the price is no longer an issue and the new EV will “rival” the model S.

  • garry

    The supercharger network is far from extensive. In the US Tesla currently has 165 units that must cover 3.8 million miles of roads. Some states have none. If you’re on a road trip North of I-90, Northern WI, Northern MI, upstate NY and 1,000’s of other places one is better off with an ICE. If it’s the winter season and the temp is in single digits, a BEV is compromised even more. In temperate climates like California they’re great. In a small country like Norway with ton’s of incentives, they’re great cars. I hope BEV makers pay less attention to blazing acceleration and more to finding battery breakthroughs that allow them to become mainstream cars that do reasonable road trips. Thankfully, gas won’t be used forever and ICE’s will be replaced by electric motors. But what will power those motors? The window is closing for BEV’s to become mainstream. This is because Europe already has a number of hydrogen highways (see Scandanavian Hydrogen Highway, as well as Germany and Italy). They already produce, transport and store compressed hydrogen, in many cases, produced with hydro electric power. Fuel cell cars can already equal the capability of ICE cars and are immune to temps as low as -31C. Right now there is little to no infrastructure in the US. Tesla and Elon Musk made an enormous contribution in changing the way people think about transportation and the environment. They deserve a shot at a long and productive life. But sideshow drag racing headlines cannot replace what millions of Americans really NEED. A comfortable reliable car that goes from point A to point B without fuss regardless of the distance.

  • garry

    Blazing acceleration was important when I was 16. Now I’m old and have a family. Blazing cruise speeds on Interstate highways are important now. Please name ONE BEV that can keep up with our Outback on a ski trip from Chicago to Denver? Any BEV from any builder? No superchargers on the shortest route, I-80. We turn the key and go. No planning, no fuss, no anxiety. We cruise across the Midwest at 80MPH making full use of the HVAC system. I wish there were more articles describing breakthroughs that allow BEV’s to match the capacity of ICE cars on cross country trips. Perhaps some day. Meanwhile I think Audi is very smart to build on demand. It’s a niche car.

  • gilberto

    I do not get it, people specially analyst complain about price of Model S, what about this one new rival???, this price will be ok because its an Audi????, we will see that they will not say anything about it. Come on people

  • Dave_SRQ

    Audi, with 280 mile range. Hmmm.
    Q. Let’s say you’re on a road trip. What are you supposed to do after the first 280 miles?
    Thanks, but I’ll stick with Tesla and their worldwide supercharger network.

  • May Grindle

    BTW the EPA has not tested the mileage of the Audi car yet. Don’t be surprised if it goes less than 280 miles during their test.

  • May Grindle

    “3.4 seconds for the four-door Model S P85D, says a report from Fox News” – who cares what Fox News says? Don’t you care about reality? Aren’t you some sort of journalist? I want to say, “Oh, man… Aman…” The real information is here if you’d bothered to check it – http://www.teslamotors.com/models and it’s also everywhere else all over the web, youtube, countless reviews and so on. NO-ONE SAYS 3.4. NEVER use Fox News as a source.

    Motor Trend tested it and accelerated from 0-60 in 3.1. Tesla are about to upgrade the firmware of the car to shave off another 0.1 from the 0-60 time. So the new acceleration time will either be 3.1s or 3.0s if you’re Motor Trend.

    So let’s see… the two cars have an identical top speed, but the Audi does 0-62 in 3.9 seconds vs. 0-60 in 3.1s (or better) for the Tesla. Tesla has five seats plus a bunch of cargo space… Audi has two seats and almost no cargo space. Tesla has a worldwide charging network provided to drivers for free. Audi hasn’t announced what their worldwide charging system is yet… (the one that will charge this 92kW car in significantly less than 2hrs) or how much it will cost drivers to use. I can tell you that charging a 92kW car via conventional means will be a pain in the ass.

    And they haven’t announced the price yet, and will only build this car if someone orders it.

    So why do you call this car a rival? It looks totally cool… but it isn’t a rival.