Say it isn't so, Audi!
While everything is fine and dandy in Sant’Agata Bolognese where Lamborghini is already eager to talk about the Huracan replacement, it’s an entirely different story at its cousin based in Ingolstadt. That rumor about the R8 being killed off now has more substance as Audi through the voice of its R&D boss, Peter Mertens, has suggested the V10 supercar won’t get a third generation.
In an interview with Car and Driver, the man in charge with research and development at the four-ring company admitted there currently aren’t any plans to replace the R8 at the end of its life cycle. That being said, the current generation of the naturally aspirated machine still has plenty of life in it and things could change in the years to come:
“I always get [my PR chief] very nervous when I start talking about that stuff. Never say never; performance cars are good for Audi.”
While the R8 is currently available exclusively with a 5.2-liter engine, let’s not forget that for a relatively short amount of time, Audi had a fully electric E-Tron version. That one turned out to be a sales flop as fewer than 100 cars were sold at roughly $1.1 million a pop, prompting the company to discontinue the zero-emissions performance car in October 2016, less than two years after the model’s introduction.
Audi has plans to diversify the R8 range by introducing a significantly more affordable V6 version that will not have to go up against the V10-only Huracan. We might get to see it as early as this year, likely with a biturbo 2.9-liter already found inside Audis such as the RS4 Avant and the RS5 Coupe. Mertens said the R8 “has a long life” up ahead, which could mean the model won’t bite the dust in 2020 as initially believed.
Source: Audi via Car and Driver