Audi is taking a hard look at its future. This week at the automaker's annual shareholder meeting-where it was announced that the TT will soon end production-Audi chairman Bram Schot openly pondered what comes next for the R8.
"Focusing also means leaving out. For example, the R8 sports car," Schot said in a speech. "Do we need a successor with a combustion engine? Does this fit in with our vision? The discussion will give us an answer to that."
Schot announced that Audi will narrow the focus of its product portfolio over the coming years, which means that some variants and entire model lines will be cut. The brand is focused heavily on developing more electric vehicles, which means it has to reduce spending elsewhere. Sports cars, which typically cost a lot to develop and sell in small numbers, are almost always first on the chopping block when savings is the goal. Last year, Audi only sold 1764 examples of the R8-around 1000 fewer than the closely related Lamborghini Huracan.
Audi actually previewed what an electric future for its halo performance car could look like last year with the PB18 E-Tron concept, shown above. The brand confirmed it will build this car in limited numbers, but we can't help but wonder if this small-run car could influence a future, electric R8.
It would be sad to see the R8 lose its V-10, though-it's the defining feature of the car. That naturally aspirated engine will live on, coupled with some sort of hybrid system, in the Lamborghini that will replace the Huracan, even if Audi goes the EV route.
Audi Sport, the division of the company responsible for the R8, already has a four-door EV in the works, the E-Tron GT. That car uses the same platform as the upcoming Porsche Taycan, and should hit production next year.
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