The Audi R8 is one of those cars that feels like it’s been around forever. But now, it sounds like its internal-combustion days might be numbered. A new report suggests that Audi is preparing to kill off the mid-engine supercar and replace it with an all-electric flagship.
That’s all according to British outlet Autocar, which cites Audi insiders who claim the German company is working on an all-electric successor to the R8. The publication reports that the new super EV is being prepared for a “mid-decade” launch and that it could run on Porsche’s EV platform.
Despite being billed as a successor to the R8, Autocar is keen to point out that the new car “won’t be called the R8 and will take an entirely new design direction.” Meaning that it won’t actually look anything like the current R8.
Autocar adds: “However, it will stay true to a pure sports car concept, with two doors and more power than anything else in the Audi range, albeit coming from an electric set-up.”
And when it comes to that electric setup, it sounds like Audi will opt to use something from VW Group stablemate Porsche.
Audi currently uses the J1 EV platform developed for the Porsche Taycan in its E-Tron GT lineup. For the next generation electric flagship, it could turn to a new “SSP Sport platform” being developed for electric sedan and SUV models.
Or, Autocar suggests, the electric R8 successor could run on the same hardware that Porsche is developing for its upcoming electric Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman. Autocar reports:
“This architecture aims to mimic the current 718 duo’s mid-engined handling characteristics by stacking the batteries vertically behind the seats for a low centre of gravity and optimum weight distribution – and it could serve a similar purpose for an electric successor to today’s mid-engined R8.
“The platform of choice also depends on whether Audi Sport wants to persevere with a mid-engined R8 successor to emulate the outgoing model.”
The sad news in all of this is that with the launch of an electric successor to the R8 on the horizon, the flagship supercar must soon be on the way out. According to Autocar, the current R8 will bow out at the end of 2023 with a “run out” model expected to launch before the end of this year.
That final Audi R8 swan song could be something like a rear-wheel-drive GT model, which Audi Sport boss Sebastian Grams told Autocar could “get as close as we can to that ultimate feeling of racing.”