FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 17: Audi CEO Rupert Stadler (R) shows the Audi R8 E-Tron Concept car to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the international motor show IAA on September 17, 2009 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.The world's biggest auto show runs until September 27.
(Photo : Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
The Audi R8 e-Tron might have started its journey only in 2015 when it was officially launched during the Geneva Motor Show but seems to have reached the end of the road already, CarAndDriver reported.
The total production run of the pure electric super sports car that lasted just about a year had never made it past the three digit mark. Audi representatives though acknowledged they could still have built a few more but had to eventually pull the plug on it.
No official reasons were attributed to explain the coming of the end of what no doubt makes for a super exciting zero emissions sports car. The timing of the exit of the R8 e-Tron is also curious since the Volkswagen-owned marque is also making moves to jump onto the EV bandwagon in a big way.
While Volkswagen is working to launch a few EVs in the coming years, at least two Audi EVs are already expected for launch during the 2018-19 period. As Jalopnik pointed out, the R8 e-Tron would have served as an excellent flagship pure-electric supercar providing a lot of sheen to the company's EV fleet.
What is also worth mentioning is that Audi, for reasons best known to it, seemed to lack a clear marketing strategy for the car as well. If the lack of any printed material or an online configurator for the R8 e-Tron wasn't enough, those enquiring about the sports car with Audi dealers were re-directed to the company headquarters.
Perhaps not the best way to market a car priced in the vicinity of $1000,000 though Audi can consider itself fortunate the car still found a few buyers. Perhaps that has to do with the 456 hp and 679 lb-ft of torque it has on tap that conspires to allow for a zero to 62 mph timing of 3.9 seconds.
Also, instead of the Quattro all-wheel drive, the R8 e-Tron features only two motors driving the rear wheels and had a range of up to 280 miles. Compare those with the Model S figures of 2.5 secs for the zero to 60 mph sprint while allowing for a range of well above 300 miles. All this while still being a sedan that seats five.
The sports car first appeared on the scene at Frankfurt back in 2009 and was well on course when Wolfgang Dürheimer, the R&D chief had brought the curtains down on it. That was in 2011 but was revived again by his successor Ulrich Hackenberg, leading to the formal launching at Geneva in 2015. Pity it has to retire while still being so fresh and prime.