The facelift version of the R8 should be showing its face in the Summer 2012, but Audi has even bigger fish to fry at the moment. A new generation for the R8 sports car is currently under development and will use the latest advanced construction techniques. This advanced construction will make the car lighter and faster, giving it the opportunity to provide real competition for the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche.
The exterior design of the future generation R8 will be inspired by the E-Tron Concept, but the rest of the vehicle will carry almost identical features with an evolutionary styling theme and the absence of the current model’s sideblades and manual transmission. It will feature an aluminum structure, a long wheelbase, a roomy two-seat cabin, a mid-engined layout, and four-wheel drive. Despite these similarities, the next R8 will lose up to about 130 lbs from its total weight. This will be possible mainly because of the addition of some selected parts made of a new lightweight carbon-fiber and aluminum monocoque structure that is about 50 lbs lighter than the current one. Audi will also use plenty of carbon fiber elements for the transmission tunnel, floor, rear bulkhead, and B-pillars.
As is typical for the R8, the new generation will be offered in both V8 and V10 versions, with both receiving increased power and improved fuel economy. Rumors say that the V8 version will deliver 450 HP, the V10 version will deliver up to 550 HP, and that the fuel economy will come in at 25.7 mpg. The GT version will also see an increase to 580 HP. It has also been rumored that the engine will be mated to a dual-clutch transmission.
Expect to see the new Audi R8 sometime in 2014, with a roadster version to follow during the second quarter of 2015.