A quick briefing on the history of the R8: In 2007 the sportscar hit the market and soon became the 911 alternative. An “everyday supercar,” the R8 came with a 4.2-liter V8, later a 5.2-liter V10, and a drive comfortable enough for the grocery store, but potent enough for the Nurburgring.
It’s one of the greatest cars Audi has ever built, hands down.
But how does Audi continue to capitalize on its sportscar success in the future? How can the next-generation of R8 — arriving in 2015 — remain the car that eats lesser sportscars for breakfast, and then heads out for frappuccinos afterwards?
Here’s four major points to look forward to — concept thanks to our friends at Hansen Art:
It’s Going to be Hybrid
‘Boo! Hiss!‘ That’s the sound of an angry zombie mob still wishing that V8s averaged 200 horsepower and 7 mpg. We’re in 2013 people, Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche, Toyota, BMW — they’re all switching to hybrid technology, and so is Audi.
As of yet, the verdict is technically still out on whether the R8 will be hybrid or naturally aspirated (although we use the term ‘whether’ loosely), but we should see a hybridized version of the V8 for 2015. We don’t see why we wouldn’t.
It Might Have a Manual, Probably
The one thing that’s happening to most high-powered sportscars is the idea to toss out the manual transmission. Like the 911 in which it rivals, the Audi R8 still sports a manual transmission, and a good one at that.
Now, we won’t hold our breath, as Audi’s S Tronic transmission is becoming more advanced by the day. But if Audi still wants the R8 to hold true to its sportscar routes, a manual transmission is in order.
It’s Going to Have Quattro All-Wheel Drive
This isn’t really surprising news considering it already has this, but for the sake of comparison, it is one of the few in its segment to have an all-wheel drive system (compared to: 911, Viper, Corvette, etc.)
It’s Going to Look like the Nanuk
Remember the Nanuk Quattro concept we saw back in Frankfurt earlier in the year? Yeah, how could you forget that face? It was a polarizing piece of engineering with a strange body structure and some more aggressive lines.
The Nanuk likely isn’t going to be built (?), but it will shed some light on Audi’s aggressive new design direction. And we quite like it.
As of yet, all this information — along with a well done concept — is all we have to look forward to. Of course, we’re likely going to get more details from Audi in due time, but let’s just hope it’s as practical and performance-oriented as the previous generation. Fingers crossed.