Audi may be planning a new variant of the R8 inspired by the Nürburgring. The German automaker recently trademarked "R8 Green Hell" with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, referencing the 'Ring's famous nickname.
The trademark, first spotted by Automobile, isn't ironclad proof of a new model. Automakers often apply to trademark names without having a new model in the works. It's a way to secure names automakers might want to use in the future.
If Audi really does intend to build an R8 Green Hell, there's no mincing words on what it would be. It would be a hardcore version of the R8 with some connection to the Nürburgring, be it a track-focused special edition or a version of the R8 intended to set a lap record.
For reference, the current Nürburgring lap record for production cars is 6:44.97, set by the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ in 2018.
2020 Audi R8 LMS GT2 race car concept
The Green Hell could also serve as a sendoff for the current-generation R8. Reports have indicated that Audi is considering replacing the R8 with an electric model, or at least a model with some form of electrification. The current R8 was introduced for the 2017 model year and for 2020 received a small round of updates.
The second-generation R8 did not receive as enthusiastic a reception as its predecessor, leading to persistent rumors that the model would be dropped. A supercar with a V-10 engine also doesn't exactly fit in with Audi and parent Volkswagen Group's electrification plans.
We checked with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to see if Audi had filed a trademark application for "R8 Green Hell." No such application has been filed yet. So it's possible that the Green Hell will be a Europe-only model.
Shown here is Audi's R8 LMS GT2 race car which could provide inspiration for the design of any future hardcore R8 road car.