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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

End of an era: Audi R8 no more as production comes to an end

Replacement will be an EV and reportedly arrive in 2027 based on Porsche's Scalable Systems Platform.

Its future having been a source of significant debate and contradiction since rumours of a possible hybrid V10 powertrain emerged four years ago, Audi, reportedly this month, finished production of the combustion engine R8 for good after two generations and 18 years.

From concept to reality

Showcased as far back as 2003 as the Le Mans quattro concept, Ingolstadt’s first mid-engine supercar received an unsurprising prolonged production run last month after it emerged that demand had skyrocketed, especially in the United States.

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Supposed to have become obsolete at the end of the last year, the R8, whose rumoured successor will move to sister brand’s Porsche’s Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) and become wholly electric, departed assembly at the Neckarsulm Plant, although an exact date wasn’t revealed.

Present at the event, Britain’s Top Gear reports the final example, a Vegas Yellow R8 Performance quattro, sported a number of bespoke touches otherwise available from the options list, such as the carbon exterior package and bronze accented 20-inch alloy wheels.

EV successor

Its EV successor reported in September last year as already being under development, the move to the SSP platform and change in powertrain will result in an eventual reveal date of 2027, a year after the Four Rings’ transition to full electrification in Europe.

“We need to be brave, as we were with the first-generation R8. It was a brave decision to make that car. We need to be innovative and transform into the electric world and digitalisation,” Audi Sport boss, Sebastian Grams, told Britain’s Autocar when asked about the R8’s replacement in 2022.

“I’m fighting for [an R8 successor] and so are the board of Audi. We are looking at different kinds of concepts, and the direction is electrified. If I get my wish, it will be an R8 that’s electric. And if you do a super-sports car, then it’s a two-door concept”.

Powered by either a 4.2-litre V8 or a 5.2-litre V10, the latter become the sole option after the introduction of the second generation in 2015, though in various states of tune and with its amount of twist going to all four wheels, or later to the rear axle only.

More later

It place in Neckarsulm set to taken over in full by the e-tron GT, little else about the R8’s replacement continues to be known, with details only likely to emerge within the next 12 to 24 months.

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