With Porsche put in charge of sports car and luxury sedan development at the Volkswagen Group, we’re going to start seeing the sports car brand developing a greater number of models for fellow Volkswagen Group brands, including the likes of Audi and Bentley. Such a task is made possible due to the development of a new range of modular platforms, in particular, the Modular Standard Platform from Porsche.

This platform, known as the “Modularer Standardantrieb-Baukasten” in German, is for a conventional front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, hence the word “standard” in its title. A variation of this platform, the Modularer Sport-Baukasten, or Modular Sport Platform, is also being developed, and this one will feature engines in either a mid or rear position. The Modular Sport Platform will be used for a range of future sports cars from the Volkswagen Group, including the next 911.

It was previously thought that this platform would also spawn the next-generation Audi R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo replacement, but Car and Driver is reporting that the next R8 will stick to an Audi platform, which means it’s likely the Gallardo replacement will too. Apparently the next R8, which is expected to arrive in late 2014, is already too far into its development to switch to Porsche’s Modular Sport Platform.

Before Porsche’s Modular Sport Platform came into the picture, Audi was reportedly developing an enhanced version of the current R8’s aluminum spaceframe for the car's successor. The enhancements were to include the use of carbon fiber in the construction of the spaceframe, in particular, for the rear bulkhead between the seat backs, as well as for the engine compartment and B-pillars.

Something similar to this concept was revealed at the 2012 Paris Auto Show just last month, suggesting Audi is still working on a new platform. Displayed in the Audi Crosslane concept was a new platform Audi labeled a ‘multi-material’ spaceframe. Instead of purely aluminum, the multi-material spaceframe in the Crosslane concept combined aluminum, carbon fiber and even some fiberglass to make a structure that’s almost as sturdy and light as a full carbon structure, but significantly cheaper to produce in volumes. It’s almost certain that this construction method will feature on the next-generation R8.

As for engines, we've previously reported that the next R8 will once again feature a two-engine lineup, utilizing 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.

Look out for the new R8 to go on sale in early 2015, as a 2016 model.


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