New Audi R8 rumors have been flying around for years, but to no official confirmation

2019 was a splendid year for gearheads and high-end car companies alike. The Chevrolet Corvette went the mid-engine way, Bugatti blew past the 300 mph barrier with the Chiron, McLaren launched both the amazing Speedtail and the GT, while Lamborghini and Ferrari sold more supercars than they had planned.

So, we must ask. What’s Audi been doing? Sales of the Audi R8 haven’t been piercing holes through the roof, since you asked, and there’s intense talk about a new generation coming in 2022. So far Audi has been tight lipped on the topic, so the rumor mill did most of the talking. Here’s everything we know about the new Audi R8.

The rumor mill started to spin with the Audi R8 e-tron

2016 Audi R8 E-Tron High Resolution Exterior
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The Audi R8 e-tron was supposed to blow the wind of change for Ingolstadt’s supercar. It ditched the magnificent naturally-aspirated V-10 in favor of a 92-kWh battery pack and two electric motors that hummed out up to 340 kW (456 horsepower) and 920 Newton-meters (679 pound-feet) of torque.

It could zap from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds and in its revised iteration, offered a max range of over 280 miles (450 km). Sales, however, were very slow, and Audi ended up axing the $1.1 million R8 e-tron after building less than 100 units. The year was 2016, and from here on, a cascade of rumors fought to offer a glimpse at the R8’s future.

The Present and The Future of the Audi R8

New 2022 Audi R8: Everything We Know So Far Exterior
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At the time of writing, you could get your hands on a squeaky-new 2020 Audi R8 for at least $169,900 ($182,100 for the Spyder). Either way, you’ll be receiving a mean machine powered by a 5.2-liter, naturally-aspirated V-10 good for 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque in the base model and 602 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of twist in Performance guise.

The, thing is, though, recent rumors claim the R8 will be discontinued in 2020 as per a 2017 report by Automobile Magazine which also mentions that “also dead [is] the proposed zero-emission R8 e-tron.”

Fast forward to 2018, and Autocar writes that the new Audi R8 will be a “hypercar-chasing EV” coming to market in 2020 with 1,000 horsepower on tap, a top speed of 186 mph, and blistering-short 0-60 sprint times of just over two seconds. The V-10 would be dead and gone, naturally, while the supercar’s design would rely heavily on the same cues flaunted by the PB18 e-tron concept shown at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

New 2022 Audi R8: Everything We Know So Far Exterior
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Barely a year passed and the R8 rumor books added another chapter. This time wrapped in a report published by Car Magazine, the freshest info on the new R8 involved an all-electric powertrain developed by Rimac - whom Audi allegedly approached and asked for help. Assembly would take place inside Audi’s Bollinger Höfe plant outside Heilbronn (that’s where the A6, 7, and 8 are made) and would imply fitting the R8 with a quartet of electric motors for AWD capabilities and fast-charging batteries. Power would sit at around 700 kW (950 horsepower), 0-60 should come in 2.5 seconds, all for a price tag of roughly $200,000.

What’s more, the alleged new R8 will also offer wireless charging capabilities, a 95-kWh solid-state battery that can go for 300 miles on a full charge, all-wheel-drive, of course, and an aluminum monocoque chassis holding everything together.

Which brings us to the most recent development in the new Audi R8 saga. TopGear had a chat with managing director Oliver Hoffman, who revealed that “there’s no decision yet regarding the technology and platform of the next generation R8” but that “it will be a car with an electrification part.”

Surprised? You shouldn’t be, because Europe’s emissions regulations are going from strict to stricter and it’s Audi’s intent to make the R8 emission-compliant worldwide. So, keeping the due proportions, Audi finds itself in a situation that’s very similar to Ford’s, who tasked its engineers to come up with a low-emission powertrain for the upcoming Focus RS.

New 2022 Audi R8: Everything We Know So Far Exterior
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Looking at the bigger picture, Audi’s basically telling us that there will be a third-generation R8 after all. What’s more, there’s a high chance it will pack a hybrid powertrain instead of a full-electric guts. That means the V-10 could be retained, albeit complemented by one (or more) electric motors. Still, Audi was half of the mountain to climb even if it sorts out the drivetrain equation. The extra weight should pose a significant headache, as well as sound, if the next R8 is going to use hybrid tech.

Final Thoughts

New 2022 Audi R8: Everything We Know So Far Exterior
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There’s still a lot of mystery wrapped around the new Audi R8. The good news is that it will happen, judging by the latest rumors. The main issue for Audi is figuring out what sort of powertrain to go with, solve the extra weight matter, and, more importantly, how to market the new R8 so that it sells better than the current generation. We’ll make sure to keep a close eye on this topic in the future.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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