Audi A8 / Tesla Model S

The automotive industry is full of rivalries, from Ferrari versus Lamborghini to Ford’s recent war on the Toyota Prius. Audi must be feeling the electric heat of Tesla’s recent success, because the German automaker has put out a press release with one single message: Hey, let’s not love on Tesla too much, mmmkay?

Audi’s press release is titled, “Not so fast to put Tesla on that particular pedestal” and it’s full of Audi making sure we all know that “some reports are giving Tesla too much credit.” What’s extra funny is that Audi compares its April US sales (13,157 units) to Tesla’s 4,750 Model S sales, mistakenly claiming they, too, were from April. But Tesla doesn’t report monthly sales, and the 4,750 number is for the total deliveries for the first quarter of 2013. That fact makes Audi look even better by comparison but even worse for making a stink about the whole thing. You can read the whole thing below.

While Audi’s points are accurate, we see this headed into the realm political consultants talk about where if you need to clarify the details, you’ve already lost. And whatever the mood inside Audi HQ is, the reality is that Tesla has figured out how to sell a good number of luxury electric vehicles, while Audi is still just teasing.

One final bit of rival hilarity that takes on a new light today: Iron Man Tony Stark might sometimes drive an R8, but he is, in fact, based on Tesla CEO Elon Musk (in the movies, anyway).

*UPDATE: Looks like Audi has pulled the press release off its site. Interesting.

By Sebastian Blanco