The second-generation Audi R8 has been fervently debated over the last several years, but a plug-in variant was rarely discussed. Oddly enough, of all the versions considered for 2015, a hybrid may actually be the most likely.
Speaking to Car Magazine at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, Audi Technical Development chief Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed the possibility of a hybrid R8, using the showcase of a certain “hyper cruiser” as proof.
“We are able to make the R8 a plug-in hybrid,” he said, “the Lamborghini Asterion shows this is possible – that car uses the platform of the R8.”
Hackenburn also confirmed the vehicle’s E-tron classification, adding that the electric car will have more than 250 miles of range.
Another vehicle that shares the R8’s platform is the Lamborghini Huracan, which gives us an interesting peak at the new Audi’s character. The lightweight Lambo equips a featherweight carbon-aluminum chassis, making it lighter, stiffer, and more advanced than its Gallardo predecessor.
Hopefully we see similar improvements to the second-gen R8. If not, we’ll be holding our breath until 2021, when Porsche takes over as Volkswagen Group’s lead sports car designer.
Unfortunately, the platform change also signals the demise of the R8’s manual transmission option. The first generation offered a six or seven-speed standard in addition to the dual-clutch, but the new car will equip the seven-speed DL800 only.
There may also a diesel version of the R8 for the car’s second generation. Volkswagen Group currently has two TDIs that would work on the Audi, a 4.2-liter V8 making 335 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque, or an upcoming 5.0-liter V10.
There are no performance specs on the V10 as of this writing, but the twin-turbo Nanuk Quattro of 2013 featured a TDI V10 with 544 hp and 737 lb-ft.