Audi R8 e-tron Shelved Again…This Time For Good

4 years ago by Jay Cole 13

Promotional Job Done, The Audi R8 e-tron Gets Retired

Promotional Job Done, The Audi R8 e-tron Gets Retired

What is worse than having your favorite electric car get cancelled ahead of production?  How about dying twice?

What Could Have Been.  The Audi R8 e-tron Maybe Takes Its Final Lap

What Could Have Been. The Audi R8 e-tron Maybe Takes Its Final Lap

In the on again, off again world of the Audi e-tron, the German automaker confirmed to Autocar that it currently has no plans to sell its all electric sports cars.

The skeptic in us questions whether it was ever headed to production during this second revival.

It is curious to note the car’s recent public resurgence, along with hints of its upcoming production from Audi hit an all time high just as the electric version of the car was product placed prominently featured in the hit move franchise Iron Man.

Now that the movie has almost run its course, the electric e-tron seems to have taken a back seat to a renewed marketing push to sell the new 2014 model year standard combustion version of the uber-car.

Below: Video of Audi’s latest R8 commercial…still with Iron Man, but less e-tron

Audi says that 10 R8 e-trons had been built for the film, testing/development and promotion, but they are going to stay internal to the company, as it hopes to leverage what they have learned for future models.

“Through the R8 e-tron, Audi has acquired extensive expertise that will benefit its electrified production models.” – Audi statement

Only 10 Audi R8 e-trons Were Made, None Will Be Sold To The Public

Only 10 Audi R8 e-trons Were Made, None Will Be Sold To The Public

Autocar postulates that Audi is not offering the R8 e-tron to customers “because battery technology hasn’t advanced as fast as Audi expected,” and “consequently the cost of the batteries has not fallen as much as the company forecast, making the R8 e-tron unviable for series production.”

Given the car could only muster a range of about 130 miles, while also being capable of hitting 60 mph in 4 seconds via a 375 hp/604 lb-ft motor; those two figutres would tend to support that fact that today’s lithium battery technology doesn’t offer enough energy density to be adequately shoe-horned into the Audi R8 e-tron, especially with  customers now expecting Tesla Model S-like range figures.

Video Below: Audi R8 e-tron during happier times, VIP Iron Man screening in London in April:

Autocar

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13 responses to "Audi R8 e-tron Shelved Again…This Time For Good"

  1. Aaron says:

    Pretty lame that Audi can’t do what Tesla’s doing today.

    1. vdiv says:

      Well, it is not that Audi can’t, they just won’t. If I was a VOW shareholder I would be scratching my head right about now.

  2. Richard Noe says:

    Audi may have an electric car for the fictional Tony Stark to drive around, but Tesla is run by the RL Tony Stark 🙂
    Audi, pretty soon it’s going to suck to be you.

  3. Jay, I’d like to suggest InsideEVs just ignores Audi’s on-then-off-then on announcements regarding their plug in program for a while. It’s dizzying! No other manufacturer has done anything like this over the past few years. Sure others have announced plans and then cancelled them but Audi is treating their plug in car plans like George Steinbrenner treated the Yankees managerial position in the 70’s and 80’s. It seems like they make these on-then-off announcements simply to get Audi in the news.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      We think a lot alike Tom, (=

      Everytime I sit down to write or edit a story to do with Audi, I always find myself wondering how it will change or morph over time. We used to try to do “updates” on them in the archives, just in case anyone caught an old link, but just gave up. It is what it is.

      No one seems more consfused about what to do with plug-ins and hybrids than VW. Especially so when it comes to extended range EVs vs BEVs.

      1. Honestly Jay, don’t even bother giving them the ink anymore until there is really solid proof they are going to build and sell one. They aren’t worth the attention. Fool me once…

        1. Jay Cole says:

          Truth be told, my guilty pleasure is the Audi R8 v10 Spyder, which I many or may not have shamelessly used my media credentials to ‘borrow’ for a little while…about as far away from an EV as you can get.

      2. Ian Porte says:

        Reason Audi VW are conflicted in EV tech is because their diesel-only prototyping programs are bringing the desired results by way of fuel economy that EVs are just not delivering on.

  4. Nelson says:

    Audi, Tesla thanks you for the business.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

  5. Josh says:

    Every time someone says that the competition can wipe Tesla out whenever they feel like it should look at Audi. They can’t match the specs of a 2008 Tesla Roadster in 2013. I think people underestimate how much engineering work it takes to develop a completely new vehicle platform with an entirely new drivetrain. There is a reason the Tesla engineers have been working 60+ hour weeks for 10 years.

  6. Kimmi says:

    The plug-in supercar thing is going to be divided between Porsche (918) and McLaren (P1), Audi didn’t wanted to be eaten with Mercedes (SLS ED) by those two at breakfast.

    A sensible choice.

  7. Dan Frederiksen says:

    It was always clear that the Nazis were lying. But it’s similarly clear that they will return to electric drive despite their lies.
    The dumb R8 is not a good platform for it however. You start from scratch and think light and aerodynamic. An R8 is a conventionally heavy thoughtless wasteful vehicle.

  8. Darius says:

    It was absolutely clear Audi’s (VW) intentions NOT making electric cars after scraping e-tron A1. It was real thing worth developing. R8 e-tron was scam from very begining like Jaguar or any other concept and after reading this mesage no suprise at all.