Considering that the current Audi R8 already uses a lightweight aluminum structure, news that the German automaker plans to drop as much as 130 pounds on the second-generation R8 caught a lot of people by surprise.
So why is this important news? Well, for one, it could usher in a new era of how the company will construct the bodies of its cars moving forward. And another thing: don’t sleep on what 130 pounds less can do to the performance characteristics of a car, let alone one that’s as fast and powerful as the R8.
That’s exactly what we could be in store for if recent comments by Audi R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg have any weight to them. At the LA Auto Show , Hackenberg told Motor Trend of the company’s plan to offer a lighter Audi R8, which could very well mean that the automaker will be improving upon its current lightweight aluminum structure technology.
Hackenberg stopped short of diving into specifics, but he did indicate that the company will use what it calls a ‘multi-material’ strategy where some elements of aluminum on the current car will be replaced with lighter carbon fiber and more of the latter material will be used in the floor structure and center tunnel.
The second generation Audi R8 is scheduled to be released in the next few years so there’s still enough time to dissect what the company has in store for its resident supercar.
Click past the jump to read about the 2016 Audi R8
The second-generation Audi R8 will be released in the next few years, and its about time.
The supercar will continue to share its platform with the next-gen Lamborghini Gallardo (dubbed the Cabrera), but Audi will focus on making it lighter and more powerful. Also, while remaining faithful to its roots, the next R8 will adopt a radical new look with lots of design elements inspired by the R8 E-tron concept car, including the single-frame grille and the matrix-beam LED lights.
Audi will also install many new elements made in carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), most likely the bonnet and roof. These new elements, combined with the new Multimaterial Spaceframe body used in the R8 e-tron, will make the next R8 lighter than the current model.
As is typical for the R8, the new generation will be offered in both V-8 and V-10 versions, with output numbers rumored to be in the 450 horsepower and 570 horsepower, respectively.