The Audi R8 e-tron will make it into limited-scale production.
Audi has backtracked on an earlier decision to cancel production of the R8 etron, and will now push ahead with small-scale production of the zero-emission two-seater as part of a number of sweeping changes made to its research and engineering operations since the arrival of its new head, Ulrich Hackenberg.
Citing recent advances in lithium-ion battery technology that has reportedly increased its range from an original 215km (134 miles) to close to 400km (248.5 miles), insiders at Audi?s headquarters in Germany suggest the R8 etron will now go into limited production during the latter half of 2014.
The rear-wheel-drive R8 etron is set to act as a halo model for a number of smaller and more affordable new electric-powered Audi models, whose engineering is being overseen by Hackenberg ? the man responsible for parent company Volkswagen?s new e-Up and e-Golf, among other hybrid-powered models, including the XL1 and Golf Plug-In Hybrid.
Among the changes made to the R8 etron to enhance its suitability for production is a new lithium battery technology featuring an alternative chemical process and, it is claimed, greater energy density than the original 48.6kWh unit.
Further details remain unclear, although the new car is expected to share the styling of the second-generation R8 ? itself due to be launched with conventional petrol engines in 2014. The R8 etron was conceived from the outset around the second-generation R8?s new aluminium and carbonfibre body structure in a move that saw prototypes possess a kerb weight of 1780kg.
With a combined output of 376bhp and a stout 605lb ft of torque from two electric motors, the earlier R8 etron driven by Autocar back in May was claimed to possess a 0-62mph time of 4.2sec and limited 124mph top speed. However, plans for production were cancelled due to concerns about the all-electric supercar?s limited 215km range.
Tyre-kicking - if you?re a car nut, you almost certainly love giving used cars the once-over and indulging those ?what if? fantasies.
Sometimes, you might actually be setting out to buy something inspired by Autocar. Of course, we tyre-kickers have been able to pursue our interest without going anywhere near a car dealer for a good 15 years now, courtesy of the internet.
Trawling used car ads has to be a major activity/time-waster for millions of us and websites like Pistonheads certainly know our habits.
Boxing Day is a fine moment to tap into a tyre-kicker?s loose-endishness it seems, with Auto Trader boss Trevor Mather reckoning that large numbers of us take to our iPads, mobiles and desktops for a bit of festive automotive diversion, quite often with serious intent.
Mather also reckons that the typical used car buyer devotes 18 hours to the process of buying their next car, no less than 11 of them spent online. And 40 per cent of those 11 hours are spent on websites such as Pistonheads and Auto Trader.
The rest of their online time is split among media sites like Autocar and What Car?, car manufacturers? sites and dealer websites.
Mather says that iPad searchings typically last 80 minutes, whereas desktop sessions last half an hour. And half the desktop searchers also use mobile sites.
Sellers might think that this time of year isn't traditionally the best time to sell a car. The classifieds data suggests the opposite might be true. So what bargains will you be on the hunt for this Christmas? Has a new project caught your eye? Let me know in the comments below.
The facelifted Renault Megane CC will make its debut in January, and will go on sale in March. Like the recently-facelifted hatchback model, the Megane CC features Renault's new front-end family styling, as well as the company's R-link multimedia system as standard. UK pricing will be announced in the new year.
The Bentley Continental GT3 will make its race debut this week in Abu Dhabi. The GT3 is powered by a 600bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine, and will race this week as part of testing for the 2014 Blancpain Endurance series. The car marks Bentley's first return to racing since its Speed 8 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003.
The BMW X1 will receive mild styling changes from Spring 2014. New exterior accents and a subtlely re-worked interior aims to enhance the global appeal of the model. BMW says its ConnectedDrive in the X1 will now feature more internet-based services, while new air intake vents in the front apron aim to give the X1 a more muscular stance.
Honda says its 1.6-litre i-DTEC engine has acheived an economy figure of 77.86mpg. The test was carried out in a Honda CR-V over more than 500 miles on UK roads. The engine has an official quoted figure of 62.8mpg, and used 29.75 litres of fuel during the test.
Half of all UK motorway service stations will have electric vehicle fast-charging points fitted by Christmas. Charging point provider Electrocity says it is aiming to equip 90 per cent of service stations with its free wind-powered charging points by Spring 2014. The company says that up to five new charging points are being installed every week.
Rinspeed will show a new autonomous driving concept car at the Geneva motor show in March.
Rather than working on its own autonomous driving technology, Rinspeed has instead concentrated on designing a new cabin concept, which company boss Frank M Rinderknecht says "will no longer require me to stare at the road, but will let me spend my time in a more meaningful way".
The Rinspeed concept car, dubbed XchangE, features seats designed like those you would see in business-class aircraft cabins. The seats are able to be rotated and moved in a variety of ways. The company says its layout "makes it possible to work or relax in particular comfort while riding in the driverless car".
The concept uses steer-by-wire technology, allowing the steering wheel to be retracted into the middle of the dashboard when not in use.
Rinspeed says it has also fitted a new array of infotainment and safety functions to the concept, meaning "you can read, listen to music, play games, watch movies or hold a meeting at 120km/hr".
Read more Geneva motor show news.