Will America be next?
The second and current generation Audi R8, known internally as Type 4S, was introduced in 2015 and received a substantial refresh in late 2018. Since then, little has changed for the naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10-powered supercar. Like any vehicle with an internal combustion engine lacking any sort of electrical assist system, the R8's days are numbered. Audi has not announced when production will end but one market has already given the coupe and spyder their respective death sentences.
Australia's Car Sales reports the R8 has been discontinued in the country, just barely a year after the facelifted version debuted Down Under. The reason is due to a specific engine tune Australia requires to meet emissions requirements. Audi did the math and, due to already low sales because it's a niche model, it made no financial sense to do that tune for a single country.
"The current generation of the Coupe and Spyder are no longer offered in Australia, for local homologation reasons. The R8 will continue to be produced for other markets," said Audi Australia in a statement. It's important to note that other right-hand-drive markets, specifically the UK and New Zealand, still have the R8 available for now. Audi must have moved very fast regarding the Australian market discontinuation because neither R8 body style is shown on the country's official company website. They're gone. Just. Like. That.
It's a sad reality, but we doubt many Australians will care or even notice. A grand total of just 681 R8s have been sold in that country since 2007. That figure takes into account both generations.
Its best sales year was in 2008 when 103 examples were sold. Through this past August, that number dropped to only 29 so far this year. Fortunately, it's not all doom and gloom. Audi confirmed with the publication what we long suspected: discussions are currently underway regarding an R8 successor though "no decision has been made so far." If there were to be a successor then it's highly likely it'll be all-electric.
Audi recently confirmed it'll no longer develop new combustion engines but the technology will be gradually phased out through 2033. A third-generation R8 would again serve as the brand's halo model and there's no better way to display the capabilities of a new powertrain type. Even a plug-in hybrid system would make zero sense. The R8 may not be disappearing from our shores just yet, but time is not on its side.