The Audi R8 Will Be Retired to Make Way for an Electric Supercar
Audi thinks that the future of high performance cars is indeed electricby Isaac Atienza, on LISTEN 02:37
The current generation of the Audi R8 is living on borrowed time. Its V10 engine is one of the last of its breed, and as the world continues to enforce ever-stricter emissions regulations, the future of the V10-powered R8 has officially been confirmed today. If you want an Audi supercar with a V10 engine, you better head to your nearest dealer and buy one now.
Audi Sport’s next project will be an electric successor to the R8 supercar. Linda Kurz, Audi Sport’s head of product marketing, confirmed with Roadshow that the R8’s successor will not feature an internal-combustion engine. We’re not certain if Audi’s future halo car will still be called the R8, but it definitely will be in a supercar format.
The recently-launched Audi e-tron GT is just the beginning of Audi Sport’s electrification plans. Linda Kurz also confirmed to the publication that Audi Sport’s "next challenge" will be working to "transform the R segment, and the R segment is going to be fully electric. This is our job for the next decade," she said.
These plans for a range of high-performance electrified cars will push ahead immediately. Apart from an R-badged electric halo car, the company also confirmed that RS-badged cars will feature a heavy degree of electrification. By 2026, Kurz says that 80 percent of the RS lineup will be electrified, and this is on top of upcoming fully-electric RS-badged models.
This is not the first time that Audi is making a fully-electric halo car, mind you. The current-generation R8 was offered in e-tron guise, but you probably don’t remember it because only 100 units were made for Europe. We’re not even sure if it was even desirable in the first place back then.
The limited-production R8 e-tron was powered by two electric motors at the rear wheels, and it had a total system output of 456 horsepower and 678 lb-ft of torque. It has a zero to 60 mph time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. A T-shaped 92 kWh battery pack gave the R8 e-tron a range of up to 280 miles.
The Audi R8 that you can buy right now is the V10 Performance, which is offered in both rear- (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) versions. Its naturally-aspirated V10 will definitely be Audi’s last, and it produces 602 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque.