It’s no secret by now that the Audi R8’s days are numbered. The brand’s famous mid-engine supercar is going to be killed off in 2020, marking that last year of an incredible two-generation run. The reason for that? Lack of sales, honestly. Audi just isn’t selling a lot of R8s and it’s too expensive to make a naturally-aspirated V10 supercar if it’s not going to sell. So it’s time to say goodbye. However, despite its poor sales, the Audi R8 is the world’s most searched supercar.
According to Veygo, the Audi R8 is the most searched supercar in the world, with it being the number one supercar searched for in 95 of 169 countries. That’s incredibly impressive, especially when you consider the sort of other famous names in the supercar world that have far more brand prestige, such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren.
It’s also quite interesting because Audi isn’t making up the lack of sales for the R8. It really doesn’t sell well, which has always surprised me, given its everyday usability, reliability and Audi’s dependable dealer network. My local Audi dealer has had an Audi R8 Spyder in its showroom for about a year that just won’t sell and I’ve spoken to them about their struggles to move R8s in the past.
So it’s shocking it hear that customers just don’t want Audi R8s. Though, it is encouraging, as it means that Audi does have some fans in the world that are interested in the R8. While they may not be able to afford the R8, that doesn’t mean people don’t like it.
It may point to something we’ve long suspected — the Audi R8 isn’t exotic enough. While the R8 packs a Lamborghini-derived free-breathing V10 engine, and an incredible accompanying soundtrack, it just isn’t as thrilling as something from Ferrari or Lamborghini. Audi has a chance to fix this, though. When the R8 dies off, Audi needs to develop some sort of car that resembles the Audi PB18 e-tron. It needs an all-electric supercar with immense power and proper driver’s car dynamics. The PB18’s nickname was “Level Zero”, as it was about the driver actually driving the car, without any levels of autonomy.
The fact that the Audi R8 is the world’s most searched supercar means that fans like the idea of a supercar from Audi. So the four-ringed brand just needs to make another one that’s even more exotic and even more exciting. It has a real opportunity to do so with the PB18 concept.