Does anyone else feel like you never hear about the Audi R8 anymore? Audi's Lambo-based supercar is fantastic, but as it enters its seventh year, is it old news? No worries — Audi has a new one in the pipeline, and some new ideas for it. But they are saying goodbye to the gated manual. Shit.
Speaking to Audi technical chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, the UK's Autocar reports that the next R8, due out in 2015, will be based on the Lamborghini Huracan but with a wider track and a longer wheelbase. Like the current car it will be all-wheel drive, but it will lose its manual transmission in favor of a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
That's kind of a shame. Both the current V8 and V10 R8s still have a manual gearbox available, and it's a gated one too, one of the last few out there. But with the Huracan going DSG-only, it makes sense.
The case could be made that paddles are more appropriate for a high tech, mid-engined performance car nowadays anyway. But I'm sure some of us will miss clanging through those gates as the Exotic Gods intended.
As for its engines, Hackenberg said the V8 and V10 will carry over to the next R8 at first, but it will get a smaller turbocharged engine at some point as well. Here's what he said:
"In some countries, you need to reduce the capacity of engines also and we need to find solutions for these markets. So we're looking at smaller engines, yes.
"It's a big step from 10 cylinders to four though – there are some numbers in between that we could look at."
He's right. There are lots of numbers between four and 10, like six, or eight, or seven. Maybe try seven? Nobody really does that.
We've emailed Audi to make sure that the manual is going away. They told us they have no comment on this dire matter.