Too pricey even for an electric supercar? Or did Audi just give up too soon? Dreadful sales perhaps? Whatever the reason is, the fact is that Audi has officially stopped production of its all-electric R8 e-tron rear-wheel-drive coupe, just around a year since it launched this eco-friendly supercar to the market.
Audi first unveiled the production version of pure-electric R8 e-tron at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show. It was intended to be a showcase of Audi’s advanced battery technology and expertise in electrical system before it launches more practical electric vehicles, including a production version of the Audi e-tron quattro concept in 2018. It is underpinned by the same platform that underpins the conventionally powered R8, but employs pure electric power as propulsion.
The 532 bhp 5.2-liter V10 engine in the R8 has been replaced by an electric powertrain that includes a 92 kWh lithium ion battery that sends power to two electric motors that generate a combined 456bhp of max output and 679 lb ft of peak torque.
With this power at hand, the Audi R8 e-tron could sprint from zero to 62 mph in just 3.9 seconds. It has the ability to reach a top speed, albeit limited electronically, of 130 mph (210 kmh) and boasts of being able to travel more than 280 miles on a single full charge. Produced on a special line at Audi’s Neckarsulm facility in Germany, the R8 e-tron was meant to boast Audi’s capability and technology.
There was all the hype leading to the official reveal of the Audi R8 e-tron. Many may have wanted to avail of the new Audi R8 e-tron electric supercar, but things weren’t so favorable for customers. Firstly, the Audi R8 e-tron is only available to customers in Europe. Those aching to acquire this electric supercar are stumped by the limited availability of the vehicle.
In addition, interested buyers could only make the purchase directly at the premium carmaker’s headquarters in Germany. Add all that to the fact that the Audi R8 e-tron comes at a very hefty price tag of €1 million (or about $1.1 million).
According to Audi, the official discontinuation of the R8 e-tron came after it only sold less than 100 examples of the electric supercar, a year after sales commenced and around 19 months since it was unveiled. It remains unknown how many R8 e-trons have already been produced. It’s a devastating end for such a highly anticipated supercar.