The Audi R8 was born in 2006 to become the “halo” model of the firm with the four rings. This supercar, developed using the same technical base as the Lamborghini Gallardo (first generation) and Huracán (second generation), has become an institution within the German company.
It is interesting to note that, in 2015, the model premiered a 100% electric version (R8 e-Tron) whose production was canceled after just one year on sale. After this resounding failure (barely 100 units were manufactured), Audi focused on other projects such as the e-Tron GT, a sedan derived from the Porsche Taycan that has assumed the role of the brand’s flagship electric sports car.
However, the company is already working on a direct heir to the R8 e-Tron that will arrive in the middle of the decade. Although the new electric supercar will maintain the two-seater configuration of its predecessor, it will debut a new commercial name (R9 e-Tron?) to mark distances.
The new car will continue to be built by hand at the Audi Sport plant in Böllinger Höfe. “We will keep the craftsmanship as it is what makes the car unique in the range. If we bring a successor to the R8, we will try to continue doing so. It is important to the customer. There’s love inside an R8,” explains Audi Sport boss Sebastian Grams.
The new Audi R8 will have entrails of Porsche
Everything indicates that the new Audi «R8» will use the same platform as the electric Porsche Cayman / Boxster, which will see the light in 2024. This architecture will mount the batteries in a central-rear position instead of under the floor; that is, in the rear compartment, behind the seats. This will allow Audi to maintain the characteristic silhouette of its supercar.
“We have brands across the Volkswagen Group that can create synergies. Despite using the same platform, the e-Tron GT is very different from the Taycan. If you look at Audi Sport sales, we sold almost 40,000 cars last year, which shows that our customers are enthusiastic about our products. Therefore, we have the freedom to make great products. And that means we need to get involved in the development of the platform as soon as possible.
We have to be brave, as we were with the first generation R8. It was a brave decision to make that car. We need to be innovative and transform ourselves. I am fighting for [a successor to the R8] and so is the Audi board of directors. We are looking at different types of concepts, and the direction is electrification. If I get my wish, there will be an electric R8. And if you make a supercar, then it’s a two-door.”