During my recent trip to California to drive the Audi e-tron SUV, I had a conversation with an Audi spokesperson for the e-tron brand over one of the group dinners. Naturally, I was bugging him with questions about the brand and the future of its electric cars. One of my questions was whether or not Audi planned on developing something like the PB18 concept supercar as a sort of flagship for the e-tron brand, similar to how the original Audi R8 was the flagship for the entire brand back in 2008.
His answer was interesting. Firstly, he didn’t deny that Audi was looking into actually making something like that. Obviously, the design and engineering teams want to make an electric supercar and even have ideas in place. It’s just all about getting such a car approved by the suits upstairs.
However, he did go on to say that the plan was for the Audi e-tron GT to be that flagship car, the car that wows customers and brings them into dealerships. When Tony Stark drove the original Audi R8 in Iron Man back in 2008, it shocked audiences worldwide and drastically helped the Audi brand gain some real widespread recognition as a maker of performance cars. Audi wants the upcoming e-tron GT to do the very same thing. Which is why Audi once again turned to Tony Stark, who drives the e-tron GT in Avengers: Endgame. So not only did Stark and Audi join forces at the beginning but they did so at the end as well.
While the e-tron GT might not be as thrilling as the mid-engine, two-door R8 and its screaming V8, it certainly has some sex appeal. It’s a stunning looking car that, despite having four-doors, looks very exotic. And while its all-electric powertrain won’t make the spine-tingling roar of the original R8’s 4.2 liter, naturally-aspirated V8, its blistering performance will deliver its own sort of thrills.
So while we might all be hoping for some hypercar-killing EV like the PB18, the Audi e-tron GT will be the car to take over where the R8 left off.