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The Audi R8 has an electric future… or none at all

Much has been written over the past several months about the looming disappearance of Audi’s R8. When pressed on the matter late in 2017, the automaker had referred to weak sales to explain why it couldn’t see making the necessary investment in creating a new generation of the high-performance model.

The current industry being what it is, much has changed since then. It seems that the company may have reconsidered its decision. The potential third generation of the R8 would, however, exist in radically different form than at present. Best to put aside your notion of the R8 as it exists now.

In yet another sign of the times, a future R8 would be entirely electric, according to British magazine Autocar. And the target date for the new generation would be 2022.

The new R8 would be heavily inspired by the PB 18 e-tron concept recently introduced at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. That prototype has an output of some 1,000 hp, working on an all-wheel drive system of course. 0-100 km/h takes the concept roughly two seconds.

Audi has not, however, provided any details regarding the range of the car, nor recharging time for the battery pack.

As for the name of the future R8, we can presume it will add the e-tron to its name. To get an idea of what kind of technologies it could incorporate, it’s useful to take a look at the e-tron GT, the other electric product being worked on by Audi. This model is currently in the project phase at the Audi Sport division. It would a coupe-style 4-seater with around 800 hp at its disposal, all of them supplied electrically.

A future of the R8 may thus still be in the cards. But if you’re looking for a gas-fed model, you’ll have to get it before 2022. As in every facet of the industry, it seems, the future is electric…