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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Next Audi R8 set for V8 return with electrical assistance

If true, the much loved normally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 will bow out with the current second generation model come 2023.

After months of little news about its future being mentioned or speculated, a weekend report from Germany has shed more light on the apparent replacement for the Audi R8.

Though still to be confirmed whether the newcomer would be called R8 when it reportedly debuts in 2023, Auto Bild has alleged it will become a hybrid model, but not with the current normally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 as stipulated last year.

Instead, the R8 will return to V8 power and derive motivation from an electrified version of the Volkswagen Group’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 used in amongst others the RS6, RS7, RS Q8 and various Porsche models.

With the addition of the electric hardware, the publication claims the R8 could produce as much as 700 pferdestarke (PS) or 515 kW, an output rumoured as far back as 2017 for an alleged hybrid version of the RS7 that has not progressed beyond the claims made by Britain’s evo magazine at the time.

ALSO READ: Next Audi R8 destined to get hybrid V10?

Despite Audi’s electric only switch from 2026 with the last internal combustion engine model set to be sold in 2034, the “new R8” won’t be offered, initially, with a 100% electric model according to the publication, meaning it will most likely be one of the last performance Audis to offer a petrol engine in spite of the electrical unit.

Back in 2015, the brand unveiled an all-electric e-tron version at the Geneva Motor Show, but production wrapped-up reportedly after only 100 units.

“We will have electrification for the R8 in the future, but which kind of electrification there is no decision yet. We are working on the concept, we are in contact with our board, but there is no decision yet regarding the concept of the next R8,” former Audi Sport boss Oliver Hoffman told Australia’s now defunct motoring.co.au two years ago.

“We have some very, very interesting concepts regarding the (R8 successor) powertrain, but also regarding the whole vehicle concept. There is no decision which kind of powertrain and which kind of electrification we will implement”.

With its lineage set to continue for a while unlike the under-fire TT, bolstered by the addition of the more powerful RWD earlier this month, more details regarding the third generation R8 are set to emerge over the coming weeks and months.

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