Do you know why Audi decided to kill off its $1M supercar? Have you already thought about it? Maybe it was the million-dollar-plus price tag. Maybe it was the "supreme hand-built quality." Maybe it was the fact that a non-electric R8 could be had for $164,150. Whatever the reason, was killing the R8 E-Tron a good idea?
As we all know, the VW Group – and Audi especially – is in the middle of an electrification kick, and the R8 E-Tron would have been a good halo vehicle for the brand. Instead, it can stand as a prime example of waffling on the promise of plug-in vehicles. After all, Audi used to be incredibly proud of the R8 E-Tron, even if it had a tough history. The whole program was an on-again/off-again kind of thing, but with enough momentum to get the EV some time at the Nurburgring. With both Mercedes and the EQ brand and BMW with its i brand moving strong into EVs, letting the headline be "Audi killed an EV" is not exactly fitting. It's not like Audi was wasting time making a lot of these. The R8 E-Tron went on sale in 2015 to customers who made a special request for it, and apparently only 100 did.
Put simply, even with more and more lower-cost, long-range EV on the horizon, Audi could have kept a cache of cool around its battery-powered beast. But it didn't. And we're all a little worse off for it. The EV world is only getting bigger, better, and more bountiful. It needs leaders. Audi has decided it didn't want the R8 E-Tron to try and stake that claim. So someone or something else will.