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Farewell R8: why Audi’s supercar is set to be replaced by this Audi e-Tron GTR

Published: 22 April 2019

► Audi R8 destined for the chop
► Replaced by e-Tron GTR e-supercar
► Borrows Taycan hardware, due for 650bhp

The seminal Audi R8 is struggling to survive beyond this iteration, as the VW Group ruthlessly pivots its product range around the new electromobility holy grail. But that doesn’t mean no more exciting Audis - far from it.

The burgeoning Audi e-Tron family of EVs is working towards the 2022 launch of this e-Tron GTR, an electric replacement for the R8. The secret plan is revealed in the May 2019 issue of CAR magazine on sale now (see a sneak preview here).

And while we might miss the V10 histrionics, there’ll still be startling performance on offer, just in whisper-quiet electric mode: 0-62mph is said to take little longer than two seconds, according to the Ingolstadt grapevine.

Our guide to the best electric cars and EVs on sale today

Audi e-Tron GTR: the key specs of Audi’s electric supercar 

In three years’ time, Audi engineers will have at their disposal the latest solid-state batteries, the futurologists are claiming. So there’ll be a step change in cell capacity and quoted range.

Our sources in Ingolstadt are predicting: 

  • Three electric motors
  • 95kWh solid-state battery
  • Wireless charging
  • 500kW system output (equivalent to 650bhp)
  • 300-mile range
  • All-wheel drive
  • Aluminium monocoque chassis

The VW Group's J1 electric car architecture is destined to power the Audi e-Tron GTR

It’s based heavily on the Porsche Taycan’s J1 platform (above), the new EV hardware that’ll underpin a variety of upmarket electric cars from the upper reaches of the VW empire (think Audi, Bentley and maybe even one day Lamborghini).

The business case

To help make every part of Audi profitable in the face of the slim margins on electric cars, CEO Bram Schot is in the midst of a product cull - and the profligate R8 is looming large in his sights.

R&D chief Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler told CAR: ‘Audi Sport must have e-mobility, and our icons for the brand must become electric. We are in discussions regarding the sporty cars and the RS vehicles – they will need a change towards e-mobility.

‘The e-Tron GT will come towards the end of 2020 – that’s the first step. Electrically, you can control things more, and have more of an emotional influence on driving behaviour.’

Further electric reading

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How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

The best upcoming electric cars and EVs

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel