By on October 13, 2016


Maybe buyers weren’t ready for an electric supercar. Maybe there wasn’t enough hype and star power. Hell, maybe no one knew about it.

Whatever the reason for the Audi R8 e-tron’s lack of sales and visibility, we do know one sure thing about this environmentally friendly phantom — it is stone cold dead.

The shadowy model that received more press as a concept car than a production vehicle was quietly killed off by Audi, Car and Driver confirms.

How many of these European status symbols rolled off the assembly line? Less than 100, an Audi spokesperson told the publication. Apparently, well-heeled buyers had better things to spend one million euros (1.1 million greenbacks) on, because it wasn’t as if Audi couldn’t build more of them. They could have, the spokesperson claims.

Exclusivity usually sells, but not in this case. While the model never appeared in official car buying channels — it was a no-show in sales literature and Audi’s online model lineup — it seems that pure lack of interest killed this model. DiCaprio was never photographed in one, and high-end models like the BMW i8 captured the eye of the six-figure EV crowd. Blame those alluring doors.

Appearing first as a 2009 concept vehicle, the model seemed bound for a 2012 production run. Audi rebooted that idea, with a second concept appearing the following year in Detroit. After that, silence — at least until a production version cropped up in Geneva in early 2015. Fully fleshed out, this electric R8 variant promised 456 horsepower and 679 lb-ft of torque, plus a late 2015 production date.

The automaker hinted that the e-tron would serve as something of an electric testbed for a future high-volume model. Audi, like its German rivals, has big EV plans, but it isn’t known how much the R8 e-tron’s development helped this effort.

[Image: Audi AG]

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12 Comments on “The Weird, Complicated Life of the Audi R8 e-tron Silently Comes to an End...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Uh, hello? In what volume are $1.1 million cars supposed to sell?

    Here’s one answer – about 50/year:

    This has nothing to do with being an EV, or the i8’s alluring doors, or celebrity endorsements – it’s the price. This car was priced 10x higher than an i8, for example, so the ‘six-figure EV crowd’ wouldn’t even consider this car, because it’s *7 figures*.

    Any expectations for more (by Audi or anyone else) are misplaced dreams. If you want to debunk high-end EV sales, you have to try harder than this. As for the ‘six-figure’ luxury market, the Model S is outselling the competition by a wide margin:

  • avatar

    I would imagine the average buyer in this segment doesn’t want their $1M car to be easily confused with a $175K car that’s been around for a decade.

  • avatar

    So many air intakes.

  • avatar

    Funny thing, yesterday I saw one in the A9; actually it was in a charging site, and the Audi guy was fighting with the charger (plug it – unplug it – call somebody – repeat)

    If one Audi guy was unable to properly charge it, it does not deserve to cost 1 Mill. €

  • avatar

    I like to think I keep up with ‘car news’ but this is the first time I read about a million dollar R8… and it comes down to this…why would anyone buy a car thats a million that doesnt look a million…

    A Pagani is a million, a Koeniggegg is a million, this is an electric r8…

  • avatar

    my own personal million + dollar car won’t see enough miles for the carbon to fuel it to make a percentage difference compared to the carbon to make it. So, since the difference is negligible, I’ll take the Pagani please.

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