It appears that Audi will be the latest car manufacturer to jump on the electric sports car craze with their R-Zero concept car, which is a mix between an “Audi TT, Nissan 350Z and an Infiniti G35 Coupe.” Not a bad mix.

Obviously, the thing that will set the R-Zero apart from its sports car contemporaries is the fact that it will be powered by an electric engine.  Inevitably, the R-Zero may end up more like the Tesla Roadster than any of the previously mentioned cars.

The R-Zero will be powered by nearly a ton and a half of lithium-ion batteries, which will push the overall weight of the vehicle to nearly 5,000 pounds.  Amazingly, the R-Zero will still be able to achieve a top speed of well over 250 miles per hour.

While the R-Zero is still in the concept phase (meaning it’s going to be a long time before this vehicle is ready for production) it is anticipated that it may be ready for release for the 2010 model year.  By then, cars like the Tesla Roadster will have been out for a few years, so Audi will be able to gauge the real demand for high powered electric sports cars.

While it’s fairly obvious that many people find these concept vehicles to be interesting and nice to look at, it remains to be seen if any of this interest will translate in to purchases.

It seems to me that these car manufacturers would be better served working on electric cars that are affordable and practical as opposed to expensive and high end.  But, what do I know?

Gumpert Apollo