Audi has a big choice ahead in deciding the fate of its resident supercar

The future of the Audi R8 is still up in the air with no clear resolution in sight from Audi executives who are still debating whether to go ahead with the model or not. There are numerous scenarios floating around that could point to the future of Audi’s flagship performance vehicle, including the possibility that the R8 lives on to see a next-generation model. Some questions still need to be answered, though, before a decision is made, the most pressing of which is the kind of powertrain that will be used in the model. If Audi execs greenlight a third-generation R8, would it go electric or would it continue using the same 5.2-liter turbocharged V-10 engine that’s been sitting at the heart of the model since it hit the market in 2006? That’s a question Audi needs to answer — Audi Sport managing director Oliver Hoffman wants to keep the V-10 — though at this point, is the V-10 engine even critical to the success of the R8 anymore, or is the R8 ready to expand its powertrain horizons?

Audi Sport Wants the Next-Gen R8 to Have a V-10 But It Really Doesn't Need It High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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For the record, the third-generation Audi R8 isn’t a sure thing. There’s been a lot of discussion within Audi regarding the fate of its flagship performance car, but so far, it’s only come as far as that. There are no clear signs on which direction Audi is leaning, but the belief is that there are three possibilities that are being considered. One is to push forward with a third-generation model that will come with the glorious high-revving 5.2-liter turbocharged V-10 engine.

Another scenario is to also continue the R8 as an all-electric performance machine. The third possibility is the grimmest of the three: ditch the car completely.

Obviously, we’re not prepared for that third scenario to happen. We don’t want to see Audi ax the R8. Not now, not ever. But we do understand the difficulties in continuing to build a low-volume supercar amidst an environment of stricter emissions laws in Europe. As awesome as the R8 is — it’s positively spectacular — it’s not something that Audi can just develop and build without the element of haphazard. The R8 is an expensive car to build, folks.

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The good news is that there are people within Audi who are still pushing to keep the R8. One of those people is Audi Sport managing director Oliver Hoffman, who, according to Autocar, isn’t just fighting to keep the R8, but is also trying to convince his superiors to actually retain the 5.2-liter V-10 engine for the R8. “We are fighting for the V10, but [for the next-generation] it’s more or less a question of ICE or electrification, and which kind of engine is useful for it,” Hoffman said.

While I am a proponent of a third-generation R8 with a V-10 engine powering it, I do understand Audi’s hesitancy in continuing to offer a product that could potentially run afoul of emissions regulations if they, in fact, become stricter in the coming years. Granted, there are ways to circumvent that, specifically if Audi decides to once again turn to electrification as a potential source of power for the R8. I know, the ill-fated R8 e-tron was a spectacular flop, in part because of the technology that was available in 2015, the cost that went into building it, and the staggering price tag of $1.1 million that Audi was asking for the car. It was doomed to fail because Audi didn’t have the resources that it does now.

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That was four years ago. It’s already 2019, and the advancements automakers have made in the field of electrification should not be understated. It’s a completely different environment from where it was back in 2015.

Without jumping into the specifics of how Audi can reboot an all-electric R8, the technologies available today offer a clearer and cheaper roadmap for an electric R8 to succeed.

Heck, it doesn’t even have to be all-electric, to begin with. There’s a possibility that the next-gen R8 could still use the V-10 engine without running afoul of political hand-waggers. A possible solution would be to use the V-10 as part of a hybrid powertrain that also utilizes an electric motor. It’s not completely out of left field, folks. Lamborghini’s plans for the Huracan successor revolves around a similar blueprint, and with the second-gen R8 and the Huracan sharing so many things in common, it’s not completely out of the question to think that their respective successors will also have similar shared qualities, sophisticated hybrid powertrain included.

Audi Sport Wants the Next-Gen R8 to Have a V-10 But It Really Doesn't Need It High Resolution Exterior
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So, don’t lose hope just yet. The third-generation Audi R8 may not be a guarantee at this moment, but with people of consequence championing for its development, we remain hopeful that a next-generation model will see the light of production day with a V-10 engine — and an electric motor — in tow.

Audi R8 drivetrain specifications
Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro S tronic Audi R8 Coupé V10 performance quattro 5.2 FSI quattro S tronic
Engine type V10 gasoline engine V10 gasoline engine
Displacement in cc / bore x stroke in mm / compression 5204 / 84,5 x 92,8 / 12,7 5204 / 84,5 x 92,8 / 12,7
Max. power output in kW (hp) / at rpm 419 (570) / 8100 456 (620) / 8000
Max. torque in Nm (lb-ft) / at rpm 560 (413) / 6300 580 (427,8) / 6600
Top speed in km/h (mph) 324 (201,3) 331
Acceleration, 0-100 km/h (0-62.1 mph) in sec 3.4 3,1
Combined fuel consumption in l/100km 12.9 13,1
Combined CO2-emissions in g/km 293 297

Further reading

Audi Sport Wants the Next-Gen R8 to Have a V-10 But It Really Doesn't Need It Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Audi R8.

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Audi R8.

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Spyder High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder.

2011 Audi R8 GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2011 Audi R8 GT.

2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus.

Audi Sport Wants the Next-Gen R8 to Have a V-10 But It Really Doesn't Need It High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS.

Source: Autocar

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