At least not yet.
Although it was launched a couple of years ago and Audi Sport is more than capable of building one, a hardcore R8 is currently not the main priority. Top Gear recently sat down with Audi Sport boss (and former Lamborghini CEO) Stephan Winkelmann to discuss what’s happening next for the performance brand. Right off the bat, Winkelmann ruled out a hardcore R8 "Performante" for the time being in favor of an RS high-performance SUV.
“Once you create a brand, you have to create a lineup. We have the R8, and we will do derivatives in different directions. But we have to create a lineup which is more worldwide-sellable than today’s,” according to Winkelmann when asked his preference between a hardcore R8 or RS SUV. That future SUV(s) and motorsport are the two main priorities at the moment. “In motorsport we have visibility around the world, we won the Nurburgring 24 Hours, and we’re worldwide. We’re big on social media. We are making a step in Formula E,” Winkelmann continued. As for the Quattro all-wheel drive system’s future, Winkelmann was adamant that it’s a must-have.
“Quattro as a system is not an option for us. It’s a must.” Anyone hoping for a rear-wheel-drive R8 needs to stop hoping because it ain’t happening. Fortunately, Winkelmann clarified that, regarding the R8, “there is an opportunity there to do something different, and we’re working on derivatives right now.”