A long-held suspicion is now confirmed.
There are some things we just know are going to happen. It's only a matter of time. This is one of those occurrences. Audi Sport's head of product marketing, Linda Kurz, confirmed to Roadshow the next-generation R8 supercar will be going all-electric. She stated the company's "next challenge" will be to "transform the R segment, and the R segment is going to be fully electric. This is our job for the next decade."
This is not surprising given Audi's technology leadership role in the Volkswagen Group with things like Project Artemis, the supposed Tesla-beating autonomous EV due in 2024. As a brand, Audi plans to offer at least 20 pure electric vehicles in its global lineup by 2025.
Gasoline engine production is set to conclude no later than 2033, but starting in 2026 the only new vehicles it'll launch will be fully electric. The second-generation R8, which launched in 2015 and refreshed for 2018, is definitely showing its age, technology-wise. Its only engine is a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 rated at up to 610 horsepower.
We don't know how much longer it'll remain on the market but its time is definitely limited. It's still a little too early to see an R8 successor concept, but Audi perhaps gave us an idea of what it has in mind, design-wise, back in 2018 with the PB18 e-tron concept.
It definitely has an R8-ish look to it but also brought a lot of new styling elements. A toned-down design along with other new styling elements could be a winning combo. If we had to guess, the next R8 (assuming the name sticks) won't arrive before 2024, which also happens to be when Audi will be celebrating its 115th anniversary.
Like with any proper halo model, the R8's successor will include boatloads of new technology, ranging from autonomous capabilities, recycled materials, and lightweight metal alloys. We can hardly wait.