2011 Porsche 918 RSR Concept. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.Enlarge Photo
We've been hearing all kinds of things about the next-gen Audi R8. Specifically, we've heard that it will ride on an all-new, lightweight carbon-aluminum platform.
Despite having a pretty extensive carbon fiber lab to draw experience from over at sister company Lamborghini, Audi feels that the aluminum-carbon fiber blend will provide a less expensive and simpler alternative to a full carbon monocoque.
Porsche may also be convinced of Audi's R8 design, though it's going to take some effort to persuade the higher-ups at Volkswagen if it's to stick with its own design.
Autocarreports that Volkswagen execs wants Porsche to use the new R8 platform for its mid-level sports car, which will occupy the space between the 911 and the 918 Spyder supercar. Volkswagen feels that the Audi underpinnings will work suitably for Porsche, and of course, it's always a bonus to kill two birds with one R&D stone.
The news doesn't sound to be sitting all too well with Stuttgart, however. Porsche beat Audi out for the job of sports car development within the Volkswagen Group years ago, and it most certainly doesn't want to cede development control to Audi on one of its top models.
If indeed Porsche wants the car to be a spiritual successor to the great 959--one of the true technological highlights of Porsche's history--we'd imagine Porsche would want full engineering control over the model.
Porsche may put its foot down and delay the development of its 458/MP4-12C fighter until the R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo are up for their next redesign. It could then build a platform to be used in all three cars.
Pictured above is the Porsche 918 RSR concept car unveiled at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. It shows what an eventual racing version of the upcoming 918 Spyder may look like.