Audi Says Goodbye To The V10 With Hardcore Final R8

Sports Cars / Comments

One last V10 dance.

It's nearly the end of the road for the Audi R8 as we know it. Earlier this month, Audi confirmed what we all suspected: the next-generation R8 will ditch the V10 in favor of an all-electric powertrain. We weren't surprised. After all, Audi is transitioning into an electric-only brand by 2026. But before the next-generation R8 switches to electric propulsion, the current-generation V10-powered car will bow out with a bang.

Speaking with Top Gear, Audi RS division boss Sebastian Grams hinted at plans to develop a special-edition model to celebrate the R8's revered V10 and mark the end of the current generation. "What I can say is that we have plans to do more. There will definitely be more [cars] to come on this generation of R8 platform," said Grams.

2020-2022 Audi R8 Coupe Front Angle View Audi
2020-2022 Audi R8 Coupe Rear View Driving Audi

"And as you can see from the R8 with rear-wheel drive we are trying to bring 'fun-to-drive' to the front [of what we do]," continues Grams. "What we are doing is trying to make the most out of the [car's] life cycle. At the moment people are enjoying the R8 and we have a lot of sales. But I can tell you we have enough ideas for the future."

Sadly, Grams didn't divulge any more details, but his comments hint at the possible return of the hardcore R8 GT. Built between 2010 and 2013, the R8 GT was lighter, more powerful, and more track-focused, so we would expect the new-generation version to follow the same recipe. Based on the last-generation R8, the R8 GT was boosted to 560 horsepower, was 220 pounds lighter, and had an assortment of aero upgrades.

2020-2022 Audi R8 Coupe Rear Angle View Audi
2020-2022 Audi R8 Coupe Side View Audi
2020-2022 Audi R8 Coupe Front View Driving Audi
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For reference, the 5.2-liter V10 in the current-generation R8 Performance produces 562 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, so the new GT model could be uprated to nearly 700 hp.

Production of the R8 GT and R8 Spyder GT was limited to only 333 examples each, so we would expect the new version to be similarly limited. Whether the final edition of the R8 will be offered as a Quattro model or with rear-wheel drive remains to be seen, but Grams' reaction suggests it will be the latter.

According to sources, the final special-edition Audi R8 swansong is expected to debut in fall 2022 before its all-electric successor arrives in 2025.

2020-2022 Audi R8 Coupe Front View Driving Audi
2020-2022 Audi R8 Coupe Rear Angle View Audi
Source Credits: Top Gear

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2020-2022 Audi R8 Coupe Front View Driving
2020-2022 Audi R8 Coupe Front View Driving
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2020-2022 Audi R8 Coupe Rear Angle View
2020-2022 Audi R8 Coupe Front View Driving
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