Audi is reportedly planning on replacing the aging R8 with an all-electric supercar that can sprint from zero to sixty in just over 2 seconds.
The R8 has been Audi’s premiere vehicle since 2005. Powered by a naturally aspirated V10 engine and sharing its chassis (and much of its powertrain) with the Lamborghini Gallardo and then Huracan, the R8 has remained aesthetically unchanged since its inception but for a few minor alterations just to remind everyone that it has been regularly updated under the skin.
Sales of the R8 are falling off in its home market of Europe, and Audi executives are looking toward an electric future and wondering if the R8 should be a part of it. According to a new report from Car Magazine, the answer to that question is a definite “no.”
Sourced within Audi say that the R8 will be replaced by an electric supercar called the Audi e-Tron GTR. It’s expected to arrive by the year 2022 when Audi believes that battery technology will have become cheap enough to allow an electric supercar to cost a reasonable price but also still have quick enough charging and a 300-mile range.
Other details include three electric motors with AWD and a combined output of 650 hp (or 500 kW, in the new electric parlance). The battery will be 95 kWh, allow for wireless charging, and come nestled inside an aluminum monocoque chassis.
The GTR will lean heavily on the Porsche Taycan, likely sharing the same electric platform. Audi plans to use their J1 platform for a variety of high-end products from Audi, Bentley, and most likely whatever replaces the Lamborghini Huracan.
"Audi Sport must have e-mobility, and our icons for the brand must become electric,” said Audi R&D chief Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler in an interview with Car. We are in discussions regarding the sporty cars and the RS vehicles – they will need a change towards e-mobility.
"The e-Tron GT will come towards the end of 2020 – that’s the first step. Electrically, you can control things more, and have more of an emotional influence on driving behavior."