Audi Sport is considering a more extreme version of the R8 that will retain its road-legal status, albeit with a number of visual and mechanical changes.
Set to build on the success of the R8 RWS, it will become a challenger to the likes of the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT (R) Black Series and was hinted to PistonHeads by the automaker’s performance division chief, Oliver Hoffman.
“We have some good ideas for a more extreme R8 as we know the powerful exterior design of our racing car is amazing – people want to drive this on the street”, he said, a day before the R8 LMS GT3 won the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. “The racing car engine is almost identical to the road car’s, so that’s already proven, but we have the GT3 drivers doing chassis testing for us. For example, Frank Stippler, he’s driving our GT3 car and is also our development guy doing the Nurburgring testing for road cars.”
In spite of the obvious desire to come up with a track-focused variant of the R8, the rumored model won’t get a major power overhaul. That’s because Audi Sport isn’t interested in electrifying the 5.2-liter, naturally aspirated V10; not for this generation at least. Instead, it will focus on handling, with Hoffmann alluding to a GT3-derived chassis featuring suspension and brake upgrades, as well as bodywork add-ons inspired by the racer.
Given that the second-gen R8 has been around since 2015, with a refreshed version introduced last year, this derivative could be a good way to send it off. Talks are already underway for its successor, which seems to be getting a fully electric powertrain and, of course, even more grunt to match its updated looks.
In other related news, Hoffman confirmed that, despite the success of the R8 RWS, other Audi RS models won’t get rear-wheel drive. They won’t even gain a modified Quattro AWD system similar to BMW’s xDrive that allows the new M5 to become a tail-happy car at the push of a button.
Also, he admitted what was already on everyone’s minds: that the recently launched SQ8 TDI will soon be joined by the RS Q8, which will be Ingoldstadt’s top SUV.
Note: 2019 Audi R8 LMS GT3 pictured