Audi Has A Super-Secret R8 Grand Finale Coming

Spy Shots / Comments

This could be our first look.

The Audi R8 is on borrowed time. That's nothing new. As a brand, Audi aims to go all-electric by 2026. There will eventually be an R8 successor but it'll definitely lack the naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 we love so dearly. Expect an all-electric halo model to take its place. Until that happens (and Audi remains tight-lipped on the subject), the current second-generation R8 remains on sale. Late last month, we reported that Audi is planning some sort of grand finale, most likely something involving the RWD setup.

Our spy photographers have now caught an R8 test mule performing some winter weather testing believed to be a forthcoming R8 RWD GT.

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It's hard to tell what's exactly going on here but there's one clue this could be the hardcore R8 RWD we've been waiting for: the front lip looks a bit different, possibly indicating a design change was necessary to accommodate the new trim, but the rear wing, a top-hung item, is the biggest giveaway we're looking at something special. We still can't rule out the possibility that Audi intends to release a new series of performance parts for existing R8 owners, however.

There could also be some changes to the V10 in order to extract additional output over the already impressive 562 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque you'll find in the current RWD model. If you recall, the previous generation R8 GT and R8 GT Spyder, limited to only 333 units each, saw increased power and significant weight reductions, along with numerous aero upgrades for a more track-like experience.

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It'd be great if Audi could crank out something closer to 600 hp for its R8 swansong edition. The AWD version currently produces 602 hp, but we already know this platform can cater to more power, as the RWD Huracan STO makes 630 hp. We don't know when exactly the final R8 edition will debut but sources previously hinted a fall/winter 2022 reveal is possible. That would be an appropriate timetable as deliveries probably wouldn't get underway until spring or summer 2023. The all-electric R8 successor is due sometime in 2025.

We don't know if the regular R8 Coupe and Spyder will remain on sale until that time, though it's highly likely production will cease no later than mid-2023.

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