Porsche 918 Spyder clay model production teaserEnlarge Photo
While there was a chance Audi may have been enlisted to develop the platform, that’s unlikely to be the case given last year’s decision to make Porsche responsible for all sports car platform development within the Volkswagen Group.
Furthermore, the idea of Audi designing the core of what will essentially be the spiritual successor to the legendary Porsche 959 may not have sat well with the higher ups at Stuttgart.
The information was revealed to Motor Trend by Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller. He said that Porsche is “responsible for the MSB [modular rear-drive components set], which means the [next-gen] Panamera, and the one for the mid-engine sports cars,” referring to the new Porsche supercar, as well as the R8 and Gallardo replacements.
Unfortunately, the project is still in its very early stages, which means that any of the new supercars, including the replacement for the aging Gallardo, will still be several years away at the earliest. Additionally, a downsized version of this modular platform will eventually be used to spawn a new Boxster and Cayman two generations hence and even the 911 to come after the recently launched 991-series.
The good news is that Audi is planning a heavily facelifted version of its current R8 in the interim, and its Gallardo platform-mate could get the same upgrades to prop up sales until a successor finally arrives.
As previously reported, Audi is expected to upgrade its R8 platform by replacing many of its current metal components with lighter and studier carbon fiber units. In this way engineers may be able to shed some 220 pounds from the curb weight of the R8, helping to boost performance significantly without increasing power levels.
A dual clutch transmission is also expected to replace the clunky R tronic unit currently fitted to the R8, while the styling may change to a more aggressive look seen on the recent string of e-tron electrified sports car concepts.
Look out for a debut of the facelifted R8 late next year or in early 2013.