Audi Sport: R8 Successor is ‘Biggest Wish,’ Performance Plug-in Hybrids Are Coming

Audi R8 Coupé V10 GT RWD

Audi engineers really want to build an R8 successor, but before that, we’re bound to see some performance plug-in hybrids.

At the moment, Audi has just begun pivoting to its all-electric future, which means legendary models like the R8 — and its glorious V10 — are headed into the sunset. Fortunately, the internal-combustion party isn’t over just yet. There are still faster versions of the RS6 Avant on the way, and in a new interview with our friends at Autocar, Audi Sport managing director Sebastian Grams says enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to, including why building an R8 successor is his “biggest wish.”

In the piece, he touches on loads of interesting points, from how important noise is to enthusiasts, to Formula 1 cost caps, to the possibility of an electric TT. But here’s what really jumped out from Ingolstadt’s performance wing:

We are going in the direction of performance plug-in hybrid systems. This is what we are going for and I can tell you, this will be no less amazing than what you’re driving today. I personally believe that you will also have more opportunities to design the driving performance to be even cooler for the customer. 

Now obviously, I love the idea of a cooler driving experience, just like every enthusiast with a pulse. And to be brutally honest? My experience with electric performance cars has demonstrated that when you have wicked instant thrust, even things like the lack of a manual transmission and a wicked engine note can be forgiven. So I’d be happy to skip the whole plug-in hybrid step and go straight to weapons-grade green machines.

Where Should Audi Performance Go Next? (AudiWorld’s Take)

While the interview with Grams was informative, there wasn’t any discussion of the performance Audi I’d most like to see. Because I want to see a road-legal car derived from the history-making RS Q e-tron — and the timing is perfect for it. Seriously, just think about how crazy people went giving Porsche 911s the safari treatment. It got so popular that Stuttgart actually responded with a factory version. Even Lamborghini is making an off-road-focused supercar, in the form of the Huracán Sterrato. I’m telling you, there’s gold in them there hills.

And of all the companies making high-end sports cars today, which ones have a legacy that even approaches Audi when it comes to getting dirty? I mean, Group B anyone? Just imagine something built using what the engineers at Audi Sport learned running the RS Q e-tron in the Dakar Rally, and how cool that would be. If they could style it so it looked like the Quattro S1, I don’t believe they’d be able to make them fast enough. Porsche and Lamborghini might have beaten Audi to the market, sure. But going fully electric would be a game changer. Suddenly, every other manufacturer would be playing catch up.

Of course, there’s a reason that I’m a writer and not a product planner, and it’s easy to spend someone else’s money on research and development from the comfort of your keyboard. That said, I really think I’m on to something here. So what do you think? Would it be a good move for Audi to lead the charge when it comes to off-road-focused electric cars? Hit me up and let me know!

Image Source: Audi

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