The Audi R8 e-tron was released in 2015. Now it’s 2016 and after one model year, the R8 e-tron is facing the proverbial axe, with Audi pulling the plug on the ambitious project. Even though it was met with much love from enthusiasts worldwide, a lack of sales and/or push/support from Audi has led to the death of the e-tron.
Publicly, the R8 e-from was hit. It was unveiled in 2009 at the Frankfurt Auto Show and seen testing on the 24 hours of Le Mans track a year later. As good as the project sounded, It was shelved in 2012 and revived for the 2015 model year, which was the R8’s second generation. Originally, the R8 e-tron was supposed to have four electric motors powering the vehicle, but the systems complexity caused the engineers to look towards an easier two motor setup. The two motors sat on the rear axle, making the R8 e-tron the only production rear wheel drive R8.
The death of the R8 e-tron was mainly caused by a severe lack of marketing. Audi failed to fully push the R8 e-tron, which of course lead to poor sales, and eventually lead to its death.
The only advantage the R8 e-tron was fuel economy because its 130mph top speed, isn’t even acceptable or respectable in the realm of supercars. I don’t think someone, at least in their right minds, would drop $1.1 million for an all electric supercar, that would get walked by a car at a fraction of the price.
The Audi R8 e-tron was an answer to a question nobody asked. Like it’s indirect counterpart in the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric drive, it was made with good intentions, but never caught on for various reasons. They both, regardless of flaws, were impressive machines. The problem was, both the R8 e-tron and SLS AMG Electric Drive were cool, they just never received enough support from their respective brands and overall, all electric super cars, while they are technological marvels, aren’t typically the first choice when picking a supercar. Had these vehicles came out at a different time, the response and sales may have been different.
The R8 e-tron was a great vehicle and it will be missed…well, maybe. We never really had enough time to even get to know the R8 e-tron, to really know if we would miss it. I think the R8 e-tron, while it was and would have been an amazing ride, it was made just too early, to make the impact it would have made.