The next-generation Audi R8 is coming and if the recent spy shots of the R8 Final Edition are any indication, it means that we’re closer to that date than we may realize. In fact, multiple reports have indicated that the new R8 will arrive in the summer of 2015.

But before that, Audi’s R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg revealed some pretty important details to CAR, specifically Audi’s plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid R8 and an all-electric R8 E-tron as part of a versatile engine lineup for the next generation supercar.

Hackenberg explained Audi’s rationale in building two electric versions of the R8 by pointing at how the available technology in the Volkswagen empire, specifically the tech and platform used on the Lamborghini Asterion, makes it possible for the R8 to finally realize its electric potential.

As it stands, Audi hasn’t revealed its timetable for these electric-powered R8s. But we expect the first wave of next-generation R8s to carry new V-8 and V-10 engines that are rumored to produce 450 horsepower and 570 horsepower, respectively. Once the conventional R8 and the R8 Spyder are released in 2015 and 2016, respectively, the plug-in hybrid and all-electric versions are expected to follow later in its life cycle.

Click past the jump to read more about the next generation Audi R8.

Why It Matters

Judging by how much time Audi has spent developing hybrid and all-electric versions of the R8, it was only a matter of time before the automaker decided to take it to the next level. That time has apparently arrived, or at least scheduled to arrive in the next few years.

This is a good deal for the second-generation R8 as it aims to replicate the level of success its predecessor enjoyed during its run. Obviously, it’s going to need a different approach to do so, which is why offering a plug-in hybrid version and an all-electric version is crucial to its success.

Don’t sleep on how the hybrid and all-electric R8s will dramatically alter the narrative of the company’s resident supercar, even though we know few specifics involving both versions of the R8.

But that’s really a discussion for another day. For now, we’re just excited knowing that Audi’s finally warming up to the idea of diversifying the R8 lineup even more.

Audi R8

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Exterior Spyshots
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The current generation Audi R8 has been good for Audi, but the truth is that it’s already long in the tooth. A next-generation model is arriving at just the right time and as far as all the reports we’ve heard, Audi’s preparing the new R8 to be more dramatic than its predecessor.

That’s some admittedly big shoes to fill, but the German automaker isn’t backing down from the challenge. For one, it’s planning to build a lighter and more aggressive model, highlighted by design elements lifted from the the R8 E-tron concept car.

The next-generation R8 is also getting new V-8 and V-10 engine. The former is tipped to produce 450 horsepower whereas the latter is expected to carry as much as 570 ponies. Both models are rumored to arrive in dealerships in the summer of 2015.

Source: CAR

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