It’s a well-known fact that the second-generation Audi R8 due out next year will eventually feature an all-electric model, but now the R&D chief for the brand with the four rings has confirmed that the car could also come as a plug-in hybrid. Audi plans to dramatically increase the number of powertrain options for its flagship performance car, with the usual naturally aspirated V-8 and V-10 engines set to be joined by a battery-powered electric powertrain, a downsized turbo engine and perhaps even a high-performance diesel. Now we can add a plug-in hybrid option to that list.

“We are able to make the R8 a plug-in hybrid,” Audi R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg told CAR. “We will see an increase in the efficiency of high-performance cars—they have to meet CO2 regulations of the future in order to survive.”

Hackenberg explained that the second-generation R8’s platform, which also underpins the Huracán supercar, was the basis for Lamborghini’s Asterion concept unveiled at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. While the Asterion isn’t destined for production, its impressive plug-in hybrid powertrain will likely end up in some future cars from the Volkswagen Group. The powertrain paired an internal combustion engine with three electric motors; a motor powering each of the front wheels and an additional motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission helping to drive the wheels.

The new R8 is expected to be revealed next summer. The naturally aspirated V-8 and V-10 models are expected to be offered at launch, with the all-electric e-tron to arrive shortly after. Additional variants will likely be introduced later in the car’s lifecycle.


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