The V10-powered Audi R8 will exit production in 2023, but its successor – set to feature an electric powertrain – is reportedly some way away.
The AU634/0 reportedly doesn’t exist in Audi’s current cycle plan, but sources told the American outlet it will appear in the next planning round in early 2023.
Currently, there are no plans for the Rnext to share anything with the replacement for the Lamborghini Huracan, in contrast with the outgoing R8 that shares a great deal with the Huracan.
However, both Lamborghini and Bentley reportedly plan to introduce electric vehicles that could feasibly share components with a potential electric R8 replacement.
Should the AU634/0 go ahead, it will reportedly be offered as either in two-seat coupe or spyder body styles, plus a roomier 2+2 which could wear a shooting brake body.
Car and Driver cites opposing views of Audi chairman Markus Duesmann and newly appointed Volkswagen Group chairman Oliver Blume, formerly head of Porsche, with the former reportedly wanting a bespoke sports car architecture and the latter seemingly preferring Audi to use SSP6 componentry.
A future electric Porsche 911, codenamed PO998, could use a component set flexible enough to accommodate the Rnext. It won’t be the Stuttgart marque’s first electric sports car, with Porsche having confirmed the next-generation 718, due in 2025, will be electric.
One insider told the publication a decision on the Rnext matter won’t be made before next spring, though another said “Blume will keep the brands on a long leash to stimulate creativity and differentiation”.
With the architecture not locked in, any technical details remain hazy at this point.
Batteries could be sourced from Porsche, while Audi’s ‘neuronal’ Quattro system will share its computing power between the steering, brakes and suspension, promising “total control and absolute excitement” according to Audi’s chief technical officer Oliver Hoffman.
Audi naturally wants a new, bespoke halo car given it’s entering Formula 1 in 2026.
The current R8 is bowing out with a special edition GT RWD variant, with power bumped up from 419kW to 449kW.
Its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission has also been retuned for quicker shifts, while weight is down 20kg and there’s a new seven-stage rear traction control system with a mode allowing for more rear-end slip.
Only 333 units will be produced but none will come here, with the R8 having been discontinued in Australia in 2021.
The R8 sold in Australia featured a uniquely-tuned naturally-aspirated V10 engine, but Audi ended production of said tune at its Hungarian engine plant and wouldn’t re-homolgate the car with a different engine.
MORE: Everything Audi R8