Audi R8 Successor Ditching Lambo And Using Porsche For Key Infrastructure
- on Sep 12, 2022
First introduced in 2007, the Audi R8 breathed new life into the premium automaker and provided the brand with a much-needed halo car. Now with the second generation nearing the end of its life, Ingolstadt is readying a successor to take the place of the mid-engined supercar. We’ve known for some time that an all-electric replacement was on the way, but insiders have now shared additional details.
Speaking to Autocar, company insiders have said the future model will abandon the R8 name and usher in a new exterior design to set it apart from the current car. Perhaps it will draw inspiration from the PB18 e-tron Concept or the striking skysphere concept. Even though it will adopt a new method of propulsion, the newcomer will retain signature supercar traits – two doors, dramatic styling, and more power than anything else Audi offers.
There are many options for Audi’s future range-topper. The automaker can tap sister brand Porsche for assistance. After all, Zuffenhausen is on the cusp of introducing electric variants of the 718 Boxster and Cayman. What’s more, the e-tron GT and Taycan also share the J1 platform. Then again, it could also employ the SSP (Scalable Systems Platform) Sport architecture which will, eventually, replace the aforementioned J1 architecture.
Platform-sharing won’t dilute the supercar feel, though. Commenting on the matter, Audi Sport’s Sebastian Grams remarked, “We have brands around the Volkswagen Group which can be synergized. Despite being on the same platform, e-tron GT is very unique from Taycan.” As per the publication, there’s a strong chance the R8 replacement will be based upon the same architecture as the aforementioned electric Porsche models.
This would provide it with a mid-engined feel, something from which the current R8 derives plenty of its character.
This is merely speculation, for now. As Grams said, “We see every project as its own. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be so successful.” Many may lament the fact that Audi’s performance icon is heading down the electric route but, as the RS e-tron GT has proven, the automaker knows a thing or two about building exciting battery-powered vehicles.
With up to 637 horsepower on tap, the electric sedan is capable of sprinting to 60 mph in a mere 3.1 seconds. For the R8 successor to retain its halo status, the replacement supercar will have to be more powerful and boast even more impressive performance figures. It shouldn’t prove a hard sell, either. Grams told the British publication that customers are embracing electric power – 60% of e-tron sales are the RS model.
“We want to make the car different [as] we do in the combustion-engined world. Our customers want to differentiate from other models – in design, bodywork, chassis, and performance,” he added.
Currently, the R8 is produced at Audi’s cutting-edge Bollinger Hofe factory in Germany, where the e-tron GT models are also produced. When the mid-engined supercar makes its official exit, the team that hand builds the supercar is expected to remain and focus on the aforementioned electric vehicles.
The battery-powered replacement may retain the high-end, hand-built practices applied to the current vehicle. “We will keep craftsmanship as it’s what makes the car unique from the rest of the portfolio. If we bring an R8 successor, we will try to continue to do that. It is important for the customer. There’s love inside an R8,” said Grams.
The R8 is expected to say its final goodbye this year, with Audi reportedly planning a final edition of the supercar. While details are scant, the last hurrah is expected to be a hardened, rear-wheel drive GT model. 60% of the parts are rumored to mirror those found on the GT3-spec models. “What we are trying to do is get as close as we can to that ultimate feeling of racing.”