Audi’s first venture into the mid-engine supercar territory came with the R8 back in 2007. Now after a decade of its presence in the global supercar scenario, the days of the iconic R8 is rumoured to be numbered.
According to recent reports, the mid-engine sports car from Ingolstadt might not receive a third generation successor at the turn of the decade. Owing to the slow sales (just 3,688 units sold last year), the R8 might meet the same fate as its zero-emission brethren, the R8 e-tron, did just a few years after its introduction. After the demise of the R8, the upcoming Q8 RS will become the flagship offering from the Four Rings.
Apart from the suspension of R8, Audi’s plan for another supercar – codenamed Scorpion – have been ceased as well. According to the rumours, the Scorpion was an upcoming project powered by a 1,000 horsepower V8 fitted with a Desmodromic valvetrain scrounged from four 1.2-litre Ducati motorcycle engines.
Meanwhile, Audi Sport will get busy with the forthcoming RS4 and RS5. The pair will employ the new 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 with a max power output of around 470bhp. Audi has also developed a PHEV version of the engine with an 85kW motor, but at this point, it is unsure which model will benefit from this powertrain. On the other hand, the impeding RS6 and RS7 will continue with the 4.0litre V8. This V8 has no plans of electrification as yet. However the 671bhp plug-in hybrid V8 from the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is still on the cards.
The new Q8 RS flagship which will arrive by 2020 will share the same 4.0-litre V8 from the Lamborghini Urus. Apart from that, the German carmaker also plans its own version of the all-electric Porsche Mission E. It will be a full-size, all-electric, four-door vehicle. The new vehicle (dubbed the project J1) can be best described as a modern, electric interpretation of the iconic Quattro but with five seats.
Audi is ready for an electrification push given that it shares its hardware with other vehicles from the Volkswagen Group. The Ingolstadt-based carmaker will go model offensive next year with around 15 vehicles expected to break cover in 2018. As far as the rumours of the R8’s demise is concerned, if it turns out to be true, the Starkmobile will terribly be missed.