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Development on Audi R8’s electric replacement already underway

Announced last year as becoming a reality by “mid-decade”, Audi’s Technical Development boss has indicated that development of the electric successor for the R8 is already underway ahead of it still to be officially confirmed world debut.

Porsche developed platform

Reported in 2019 as possibly being unveiled in 2023, the third generation, which could drop the R8 name for a different moniker, will ride on the dedicated SSP platform sister brand Porsche will use for its next generation of models, as well as others within the Volkswagen Group, come 2027.

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Tipped three years ago as possibly eschewing electric propulsion for a hybridised version of the current 5.2-litre V10, the R8 will therefore become one of the Four Rings’ first models to conform to its all-electric product strategy already confirmed for implementation in 2026.

EV and EV only

Come 2034, production of all combustion engine vehicles globally will end in readiness for the 2035 banning of petrol and diesel vehicle sales in Europe.

“We have a clear focus on the launch of this big model line-up. In the next two years, we will bring nearly 20 new products – more than 50% battery-electric. This is our clear focus but, to be honest, we are working on different concepts and projects,” Oliver Hoffmann told Britain’s Autocar on the sidelines of the IAA Mobility Show in Munich earlier this month.

Despite declining to go into the fundamentals of the R8’s EV successor, Hoffmann, when asked about the SSP architecture, said it will be a hybrid of the current MEB and incoming PPE foundations optimised specifically for he calls “iconic cars” within the Volkswagen Automotive Group.

“We will use systems and modules out of the platform, or toolkit, and there is some space to bring cars out of the platform. For these cars, we will use modules or systems from the platforms,” he said.

In addition, former Porsche boss and now Volkswagen Group CEO, Oliver Blume, was quoted by the publication as saying that the SSP had the ability to support power outputs up to 1 250 kW depending on the model and configuration.

Reported in 2021 as possibly adopting a hybrid V8 powerplant below the V10, a rumour first mentioned in 2017 pertaining to the next generation RS7, the all-electric R8 will not only serve as replacement for the current iteration, but also the R8 e-tron produced in 2015 in less than 100 units as a result of poorer than expected demand.

‘Brave’ undertaking

Set to end production either this year or next year, Audi Sport boss, Sebastian Grams, told Autocar in an interview last year that Ingolstadt will “need to be brave” with the R8’s successor “as we were with the first-generation”.

“It was a brave decision to make that car.  We need to be innovative and transform into the electric world and digitalisation,” Grams said.

For now, little else about the R8’s successor prevails, though expect more to become apparent in 2024.

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