Tony Stark is going to miss this thing.
Car and Driver is reporting that Audi has officially killed off its all-electric supercar, the R8 e-tron. Don’t feel bad if you forgot that the automaker made an electric R8. Everyone else did too. The car that once had a starring role in “Iron Man 3” was relegated to a bit part in Audi’s lineup after it went into production last year. Just how invisible was the R8 e-tron? Car and Driver notes that there was no informational sales material released on it and that you couldn’t even build your own version of it in Audi’s online configurator. Ouch.
One of the reasons why Americans might have forgotten about the R8 e-tron was that it was available in Europe only. One reason why Europeans likely ignored the eco-friendly supercar was its price tag, a cool one million euros ($1.1 million). When Car and Driver asked an Audi rep how many R8 e-trons were made it couldn’t get a straight answer. “Fewer than 100” was what they were told, although the rep did say, “We could have built more.” Why Audi chose to keep the electric version of its flagship supercar under wraps, and kill it so quickly, is anyone’s guess. There’s a chance that it was due to the fact that it was overshadowed by the Tesla Model S, a cheaper and more practical EV with better performance figures in its top-tier spec.
Of course Audi never intended to sell as many R8 e-trons as Elon Musk did Model S…models. This thing was a halo car designed to show off the automaker’s EV advancements. So why show off for only a year? Why build the damn thing at all? The simplest answer seems to be “because they could.” Of course things were different back then, aka pre—Dieselgate. The Volkswagen Group is living in a brave new world now, and vanity projects like slow-selling $1.1 million all-electric supercars are the first projects on the chopping block when the fat needs to be trimmed.