Audi's R8 EV Nurburgring Fail

Once upon a time, there was a 10-year-old first-born boy of a Middle Eastern dictator. And in his father’s land (at that time), there were no such things as electric cars or fast diesels. Naturally, he grew up thinking that he wanted to own a Ferrari, but all that changed when he realized Elton John and Kim Kardashian owned one. And then he heard from one of his many servants of a thing called an Audi Quattro.
Obviously, all Audis look the same and are quite boring (his personal opinion, not mine), but the Quattro was different, and it left us one supercar offspring. That’s why, if I was the son of a dictator, I would have preferred the Audi R8 over any Ferrari. It’s even cheap enough to leave you with dinars in your pocket to buy gold rims and a big chain. After that, you add guns and a tank, and you have a Middle Eastern royal rap video. Cool, huh?!

But now they’ve managed to ruin the R8. Why? Because of the record set on June 26th by an R8 e-tron, which lapped the famous German track in 8 minutes and 9 seconds. It might be the fastest production electric car ever to go round the Green Hell, but it’s no faster than the Renault Megane RS 265 Trophy.

Again, that dreaded front-wheel drive hyper-hatch pops up and gives me a reason to be an EV hater! I love batteries, they keep my phone working, but they've clouded our judgement and we now think that we can have electric supercars.

I don’t care how many spontaneous toques this thing has got. If it’s not faster, it’s a backwards and dim witted idea. If I was the son of a dictator and an Audi engineer came to my subjugated corner of the world, I would definitely give him the tickle torture. “Was ist das Hans. Why ist der Renault faster than the electric R8” I would say to him. And he would look away in shame, knowing what he did was wrong.

We’re at the crossroads gentlemen, and we need to decide what we want to do with our future. I’m not talking about getting a new job or a degree. I’m talking about what we’re going to do with our sports cars. Basically, I see a mixed bag of marbles, drastically different from one another. On one hand, Aston Martin is still making bedroom wall cars. The AM310 Vanquish is basically today’s Marilyn Monroe in a tight minidress - lighter, sexier but still a classic, and Saddam Jr. likes that. On the other, you’ve got Audi, who prides itself with the fastest production electric road car to ever go round the Nurburgring, only it’s not that fast. And I'm willing to bet that their prices will be not identical but comparable, so somebody got the formula wrong.

Is this what one of the biggest and most prestigious automakers in the world can do? A battery powered toy car for the uber-rich that’s limited to 200 km/h (124.27 mph)? Because if it is, and I was that dictator’s son, I would smirk at the plucky French car that defeated a German and go ‘play’ with my nuclear missiles.

Instead of this electric shaver, they could have made a cheaper R8 powered by the inline-five turbo in the TT-RS. Or they could have made the world’s first mid-engined diesel supercar. Both of those would have made Saddam Jr. very happy, not that he understands the concepts of money and fuel economy.

And I don’t think Audi does either. Because nobody is going to buy a car costing over €100,000 that’s limited to 200 km/h (124.27 mph) unless it’s a classic.

To me, it sounds like we’re confused. Why live with the Nissan GT-R becoming ever more powerful every year while the quattro makers think we’ve all gone poor and can’t afford to fill up our supercars with petrol. Dear Audi, you simply must give up your green ways, Saddam Jr. still has petrol and he’s not afraid to use it.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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