Audi Technical Development Boss Reportedly Confirms The R8 Will Be Phased Out

The Audi R8 helped to put the company on the map as it was successful halo car which was praised for its attractive styling and impressive performance. Despite being one of the brand’s better known products, it appears the sun is about to set on the high-performance model.

In an interview with Car and Driver, Audi‘s technical development boss reportedly confirmed the company isn’t planning to offer a third-generation R8. When asked about the model, Peter Mertens said “It has a long life and it’s doing okay.” He then acknowledged there are no plans to replace the current model once it reaches the end of its lifecycle.

Despite effectively confirming the R8 will be phased out, Mertens said “Never say never.” He also added that performance cars are good for the brand.

It remains unclear why Audi has decided to drop the model but it has never been a big seller. Carsalesbase data shows U.S. sales peaked at 1,145 units in 2011 while European sales topped out at 2,935 units in 2008. As of last year, Audi sold 772 R8s in America and 1,366 in Europe.

Since the model was designed to be a halo car, the modest sales aren’t too surprising. However, there could be other factors at play including Audi’s decision to focus on plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. A V10-powered supercar not only contradicts the eco-friendly message but it also uses resources which could be dedicated to fund more mainstream models.

It remains unclear when the R8 will be phased out but the model will reportedly stick around for awhile as the company is rumored to be working on an entry-level variant with a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 engine.

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    Huracan wins bye bye R8

  • lousydead

    the R8 was getting a bit stale anyway, it had a good run tho. Keep the lambo v10 and develop a new supercar to rival the mclarens.

  • Hoe

    It is time to let Audi do what they do best: clonning VW’s!
    I am horrified seeing Porsche sharing technology with such a brand.

  • Chad L

    They don’t have money for developing this thing after dieselgate.

  • eb110americana

    I’d be fine with the R8 going away if there is an R6 to take its place. Such a model would seem to have less overlap with Lamborghini and Porsche, which would be better for eliminating unprofitable in-house competition.

    • Matt

      makes sense though an r6 (with a tt v6) seems like it could overlap with audis own ttrs. The r8 as I’ve seen Audi market it is a dd supercar for those who dont want the tame look of a 911 turbo & dont want the attention of a huracan.
      I do like & wish audi keeps a mid engine halo car. While vw group moves towards electric, I can easily see the replacement of the r8 either going downscale to the likes of the origonal r8 with an r6 or as a hybrid/ pure electric.

  • It’s kind of open secret that there are no successor for the current R8, the company (or the VAG board) simply don’t have justification to pour money into R8, although a greats sports car, it’s not really profitable and sales of second gen has slowed down.

  • SteersUright

    Shame. Dont phase it out, replace it will an all-new version as it deserved instead of the half-assed evolutionary update it received. Or, better yet, come out with a smaller and more affordable mid-engined R4!!

    • Matt

      That could be done with an underbody of the boxter/cayman with Audi sheet metal

      • SteersUright

        True, with a VW 2L Turbo (though I hate turbo engines personally for sports cars). But, isnt Porsche entirely exclusive with their sports car and in an absolutely no sharing agreement with Audi/VW? I thought I read that somewhere that they’d collaborate on anything other than sports cars and flat-6 engines.

  • StrangerGP

    not surprising, they didn’t have any good ideas for the second generation, the e-tron model failed spectacularly and the car itself looks like a crappy facelift

  • Bash

    Shame, the only car that could have possibly go neck to neck with AMG!

  • Vassilis

    I really hope they change their mind. The R8 shouldn’t die.

  • GobbleUp

    Well said. This doesnt get hardly any coverage in USA. I would have shut the company down.

  • GobbleUp

    Imagine if they had put any thought into a fresher body on the car. Sad.

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