It appears that the venerable Stark mobile is nearing the end of its life, and for good, if a report by Automobile Magazine is to be believed. Apparently, there will be no replacement for the Audi R8, with sources citing slow sales as a key determinant. Previously, Audi Sport also killed off the V8-powered R8, along with the six-speed manual option due to poor demand.
The report states that the R8 may be gradually phased out by 2020 when the new Lamborghini Huracán debuts, and there are no plans to revive the all-electric R8 e-tron after its discontinuation last year. Similarly, Audi’s new supercar that’s supposed to be powered by a 1,000 hp V8 (from combining four 1.2 litre Ducati motorcycle engines) with a desmodromic valvetrain, has also been shelved.
Otherwise, it’s business as usual for Audi’s performance division. With the launch of the second-generation A7, expect to see the S7 and RS7 sometime soon, along with the S8. Once the new Audi A6 breaks cover next year, the S6 and RS6 will also follow suit.
As for the RS4 and RS5, their brand new 2.9 litre twin-turbo V6 engine apparently has a 470 hp ceiling, although both currently make just 450 hp. A plug-in hybrid solution may help balloon that figure, with the introduction of a 85 kW (114 hp) electric motor to the pair. However, there is no concrete plans to electrify RS models for now, including the RS6 and RS7, which will continue to get the 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8.
With the R8 now slowly being cut from the family portrait, what will be Audi Sport’s new halo model then? The RS Q8 and Audi’s own version of the Porsche Mission E appear to be likely candidates. The former, a sleek coupe derivative of the bulky Q7, could possibly be powered by the same 650 hp twin-turbo V8 as the Lamborghini Urus, the publication claims.
Lastly, Audi’s take on the Mission E, dubbed the project J1 (originally used by Porsche for its Mission E), may shape up to be a full-size four-door coupe. Imagine this to be a five-seater Audi Quattro and you’re not far off the mark. The report says although Audi Sport will handle its part of the joint venture, the engineering concept is already frozen. Key differences between the two high-performance EVs are body styling and a cabin that’s unique to each brand.
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