The Audi R8 e-tron arrived in 2009 as a wild concept version of the R8 supercar with high-powered electric motors at all four wheels. With fanfare so high, Audi decided to release a production version of the R8 e-tron at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Now, just a year later, the R8 is quietly being laid to rest.
The R8 e-tron was clearly a bust, but not due to lack of popularity. The likely culprits behind its lack of sales were its super-limited production (fewer than 100, per Car & Driver), prohibitively high price of €1 million ($1.1 million), and it being limited to Europe only. What’s more, interested buyers couldn’t just walk into a dealer and order one; instead, they had to call Audi’s corporate headquarters to special order one.
There was also the slight letdown that buyers went through when they found out the R8 e-tron lacked the four-motor system it had as a concept. Instead, Audi installed two motors on the rear axle, making it the only street-legal, rear-driven R8.
There is no mention of whether Audi plans to experiment with e-tron supercars again, but chances are it’ll be quite some time before we see one again.
Stay tuned for updates.