A Nurburgring-inspired R8 could be something spectacular.
What's not to love about the Audi R8? In its second-generation form, it's retained the use of a high-strung 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10 engine that sings to high heavens, sending 602 hp to all corners, or, if you're fortunate enough to have an Audi R8 RWD, you get drive sent exclusively to the rear axle, albeit with only 533 horsepower made available. It's an icon of our time, not just from a design perspective but from the aspect that only the mechanically-related Lamborghini Huracan uses a V10 engine still.
While there were doubts as to the R8's future, these have been allayed in recent times by the success of the R8 customer racing program. We've now received more good news from European trademark registration documents that suggest a new R8 derivative is coming, dedicated to the Nurburgring and called the "R8 Green Hell'.
The trademark application is yet to be approved, but European authorities currently sit with a document trademarking the phrase 'R8 Green Hell'. This can only mean that Audi will be placing the new derivative as a track-focused variant, with extensive development likely to occur at the Nurburgring once it's re-opened for business. Could it also be an indication that Audi will be pursuing a Nurburgring lap record? It's not too farfetched an idea, really, as VW Group products have continually topped the list of fastest cars at the Green Hell in recent times, with the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ currently holding the record with a 6:44.97 lap.
The Huracan Performante - which shares a platform and engine with the R8 - is the third-fastest production car around the Ring with a time of 6:52.01, so with a little work, Audi may well be able to supplant its corporate cousin at the famous circuit.
Until this point, Audi hasn't really attempted Nurburgring laps with the R8, and the quickest recorded time was by an unknown driver who recorded a 7:32.00 in a V10 Plus model (pre-facelift). That means there's much room for improvement, and it also means we're likely to see an incredible rivalry between the R8 Green Hell and the Mercedes-AMG GT R, which has been touted as a Nurburgring-honed machine and even wears a shade of paint called Green hell Magno. The AMG GT R Pro, out of interest, has lapped the Ring in 7:04.63 at the hands of Maro Engel.