Audi’s flagship supercar simply hasn’t been a strong seller, sadly.
After appointing new CEO Stephan Winkelmann last year, Audi Sport set about significantly expanding its lineup with the launch of five new models by 2020, bringing its current model range of 11 cars to 16. There have been rumors that Audi is planning a twin-turbo V6 version of the R8 for a while now, but a new report by Automobile Mag claims that the R8 will be killed off in 2020 when the new Lamborghini Huracan arrives sharing the same platform. It’s a worrying report, but Audi’s flagship supercar simply hasn’t been a strong seller, so Audi may be reluctant to renew it for a third generation.
This isn’t the only Audi model that’s allegedly being discontinued, either. According to the report, plans for a successor to the Audi R8 E-Tron have also been scrapped. Audi was also planning to bring out another supercar codenamed the Scorpion, which was going to be a high-end model with a 1,000-hp V8 boasting a desmodromic valvetrain created from four 1.2-liter Ducati motorcycle engines, but this has also apparently been cancelled. As for Audi’s upcoming RS4 Avant and RS5 Coupe, Automobile Mag reports that the twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 engine powering both cars will max out at 470 hp which is only 20 more hp than the current models despite being a new engine.
The same engine will also power the upcoming entry-level version of the R8 allegedly launching in 2018. While this engine appears to have been maxed out to its potential, Audi has developed a hybrid powertrain by combining it with an electric motor developing around 114-hp but it’s not clear which models will use this setup. Elsewhere in the lineup, the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback will pack the same twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine without any electrification. At the top of Audi Sport’s lineup will be the RS Q8 slated to launch in 2020, which will utilize same V8 as the new Lamborghini Urus SUV developing 650 hp.
Audi is also apparently working on its own version of the Porsche Mission E in what is described as an electric version of the Quattro with five seats.