Audi R8 GT SpyderEnlarge Photo
Understandably, Audi won’t want to muck around too much with the award-winning formula so for the next-generation of the car Audi’s design team are reported to be taking an evolutionary approach.
This means that many of the elements found on the current car should appear on the next one, which remains on track for a debut sometime in the second half of 2014 in hard-top form and as a convertible in 2015.
According to Autocar, the new Audi R8 will once again feature a two-engine lineup consisting of enhanced versions of the current model’s powerplants. This means a normally-aspirated 4.2-liter V-8 in the base car and a normally-aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 in the range-topper.
Output is expected to reach 550 horsepower in the V-10 model and up to 580 horsepower in a second-generation R8 GT model. The current R8 V-10 models develop 525 and 560 horsepower, respectively. The V-8 model should deliver around 450 horsepower.
The use of normally-aspirated engines makes sense as sister company Lamborghini plans to do the same with its replacement for the Gallardo, which will share its platform with the new R8 but arrive almost one year earlier.
While the increase in output may not seem all that substantial, Audi’s second-generation R8 will be significantly lighter than the current car. Its platform will be constructed from a hybrid-mix of aluminum and carbon fiber, and even some body panels will be made of carbon.
Overall weight should come in at less than 3,300 pounds, which is around 150 pounds less than the current model. This should ensure not only better acceleration, but better handling, braking, and fuel economy as well.
It’s still too early to determine styling but expect the overall proportions of the current model to stay the same. Audi’s recent string of e-tron concept cars, however, almost certainly hint at the new look we can expect.
Note, a facelifted version of the current R8 complete with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is due to be released later this year.
2010 Audi e-tron Spyder ConceptEnlarge Photo