Audi’s Next R8 Will Be an EV Called Rnext: Sources

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  • The dearth of high-performance-sports-car plans is obvious at Audi, however Automotive and Driver has discovered that an EV substitute for the R8 is within the works.
  • Do not get too anxious, although: the launch date for this new model, presently referred to as the Rnext, has been pushed again to 2029.
  • Whether or not Audi will design its personal platform or use a Porsche matrix continues to be unclear, but when Ingolstadt can have issues its manner, Lamborghini and Bentley are prone to get bespoke spinoffs.

Think about Audi competing in System 1 in 2026 with out a high-performance sports activities automobile in its portfolio to reap the motorsports rub-off. How foolish would that be? And but, in the mean time, the model’s future highway map has no successor to the TT, no substitute for the R8, or the truth is some other ultrafast, high-visibility, big-margin, image-building product.

Whereas elsewhere within the Volkswagen Group, Lamborghini has the following Aventador and Huracán just about solid in stone, Rimac is making ready a follow-up to the Bugatti Chiron fitted with an superior 1800-hp hybrid V-8, and Porsche is severely considering an electrical supercar and hypercar, Audi’s suppose tank harbors loads of nice concepts however not sufficient arduous plans.

Thus far, the duel between Markus Duesmann (carrying the four-rings livery as Audi chairman) and Oliver Blume (with Porsche embossed in his armor because the model’s CEO) has led to a lifeless warmth, however now that Blume has stepped into the new seat lately vacated by Herbert Diess, the younger CEO is asking the pictures. Will he let the Audi CTO Oliver Hoffmann develop his personal bespoke sports-car structure as deliberate? Or is he going to induce the group’s Bavarian satellite tv for pc to make use of the SSP6 componentry being compiled solely for Porsche? “A call will not be made earlier than subsequent spring,” claims one insider. “Blume will maintain the manufacturers on a protracted leash to stimulate creativity and differentiation,” believes one other. “Ultimately, the underside line is all that issues,” quips a 3rd.

Let’s assume for a second that Audi has free rein and may push forward with AU634/0, which is the code title for Rnext. Whereas the automobile at this level doesn’t share a single merchandise with the Huracán substitute, the high-voltage effort is destined to spawn a Lamborghini model late within the decade and a Bentley offspring within the early 2030s. There may be nonetheless a protracted technique to go, however that is the plan. We count on three physique kinds to make it into manufacturing: a two-seat coupe and spyder in addition to a roomier 2+2, the latter maybe as a capturing brake.

Porsche Batteries, Slim Packaging

Modularity and scalability are key to maintaining the prices down, which is why all fashions allegedly will use Porsche-sourced high-performance batteries. Will the development be aluminum or carbon fiber? Maybe a little bit of each, with an artificial weave for the bathtub and light-weight steel for the suspension. A cell-to-chassis idea, the place the battery pack is a harassed element, guarantees even fewer energy, slimmer packaging, and additional rigidity.

What we have now up to now is one more electrical supercar to be positioned within the $250,000-to-$300,000 vary that could be eaten for breakfast by the much less expensive Tesla Roadster, if that ever comes. In all chance, not even breathtaking design, extraordinary effectivity, and very good high quality will make the Rnext a sure-fire success assured to eclipse the competitors.

True, admits Audi’s Hoffmann. What defines the distinction between greatness and mere competence is how such a automobile drives. No, we’re not speaking 1000 watts of energy right here, as a result of 1000 horsepower can already be taken without any consideration when the following RS6 e-tron bows. As a substitute, the automobile dynamics specialists are waxing lyrical about their breakthrough neuronal Quattro system that shares its huge mind energy with the steering, brakes, and suspension for, to cite Hoffmann, “whole management and absolute pleasure.”

Branding Is Every thing

That is the excellent news. The dangerous information is that AU634/0 is conspicuous by its absence from the most recent cycle plan, which does present the next-gen e-tron GT with a Porsche SSP6 platform moniker and a 2029 launch date. We requested round and have been advised that the Rnext will seem within the not but finalized Planning Spherical 72 in early 2023.

So, at this level, it appears something is feasible. Porsche nonetheless may permit Audi to make use of the Cayman/Boxster platform for a 2027 TT substitute. And it may design the dramatically totally different electrical future 911, code-named PO998, round a element set versatile sufficient to additionally accommodate the Rnext.

Porsche may, however we would not wager on it. Model identification is vital when a premium nameplate trades on the inventory change. And let’s face it: After three years of fierce good cop/dangerous cop rivalry, is not it about time for the brand new King of Wolfsburg to point out some leniency and tolerance in direction of the Duke of Ingolstadt?

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