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Audi's $1.1 million all-electric supercar is no more

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The all-electric Audi R8 e-tron was always sort of a concept car you could actually buy. It made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show last year, offering an electric variant of the sporty R8, albeit at a massively inflated €1 million ($1.1 million) price. You couldn’t order it online, and Audi made no special effort to market it, so it was a sort of insider’s secret. That might have worked as a clever under-marketing campaign, but it seems like the price was too high for Audi customers to stomach, as the German automaker has decided to discontinue the e-tron after producing "fewer than 100 units," as Car and Driver reports.

Claiming a range of more than 450km / 279 miles, the e-tron was a great exhibition of Audi’s advances in battery density, with the company improving from 49kWh on its first electric platform to 92kWh while maintaining the same dimensions. Acceleration wasn’t a problem for the e-tron, either, as it could hit 100kmh in under 4 seconds. But as Audi told me back in Geneva, it always intended to use "the electrical high-performance sports car primarily as a mobile high-tech laboratory." None of that research and development effort is likely to go to waste, even if the production and sale of more e-trons is, for now at least, over and done with.