The future isn’t looking too bright for Audi’s flagship sports car.
The current-generation Audi R8 was only introduced in 2015, so it still has few more years of life left in it yet. But while there are already talks about the Lamborghini Huracan’s future replacement, the future isn’t looking so bright for Audi’s flagship sports car. This isn't the first time it's been suggested that that the R8 will be axed in 2020, but the original rumor now has more credibility. In an interview with Car and Driver, Audi’s R&D boss Peter Mertens confirmed that the automaker currently has no plans to replace the current R8 with a third-generation model.
“It has a long life, and it’s doing okay,” he assured, but admitted that there have been no talks about a successor. “I always get [my PR chief] very nervous when I start talking about that stuff. Never say never; performance cars are good for Audi.” The good news, though, is the current R8 will be sticking around for some time yet. Audi recently launched the special edition R8 V10 RWS, which features rear-wheel drive for the first time in the model’s history, and the automaker is also planning to launch a more affordable V6 model, possibly this year. It will most likely be powered by the same 2.9-liter V6 as other Audi and Porsche models like the RS5, RS4, and Panamera.
Unlike the V10 R8, it will also have the advantage of not being compared to the Lamborghini Huracan. Unfortunately, the R8 hasn’t been a strong seller for Audi, so the news that the automaker is reluctant to develop a successor is sad but unsurprising. Looking ahead, Audi will be focusing on diversifying its line-up with a range of EVs and plug-in hybrids like the e-tron and e-tron Sportback. Whether the R8 has a future remains to be seen, but the recent announcement of the electric e-tron GT sports car could be the final nail in its coffin.