Audi’s second-generation R8 is approaching the end of its lifecycle, and it doesn’t sound like the V10-powered supercar will spawn a direct successor. The company hinted that it will send off the R8 by launching a limited-edition model that will benefit from track-bred updates.
“What I can say is that we have plans to do more. There will definitely be more [cars] to come on this generation of the R8 platform. And, as you can see from the R8 with rear-wheel-drive we are trying to bring ‘fun to drive’ to the front [of what we do],” said Sebastian Grams, head of Audi’s RS division, in a recent interview with Top Gear. “I can tell you we have enough ideas for the future.”
Nothing is official at this point, but the publication speculates that the GT nameplate last used on a limited-edition version of the first R8 could make a comeback. If that’s the case, the model’s final evolution would likely gain a specific body kit and more power while losing weight. For context, the last R8 GT weighed about 180 pounds less than the standard R8, and engineers added 35 horses to its cavalry.
Audi offered the last GT as a coupe and as a convertible; both were limited to 333 units globally. Assuming the report is accurate, it’s too early to tell whether the next GT will have a fixed or a canvas top or if it will be based on the all- or rear-wheel-drive version of the car. However, Top Gear notes that it’s scheduled to make its debut in fall 2022 and that it will be built for approximately one year.
What happens after is up in the air. On one hand, the odds of seeing another Audi-badged two-door supercar powered by a mid-mounted, naturally-aspirated V10 engine are low. On the other hand, the R8 is Audi’s range-topping model, it’s hugely important for the company’s image, and the odds of seeing that slot empty for an extended period are seemingly low as well. “The icons of the past aren’t necessarily the icons of the future,” said Hildegard Wortmann, the carmaker’s global chief of sales and marketing, earlier in 2021.