If there was a car in modern automotive history that single-handedly launched an automotive brand into popularity it was the first-gen Audi R8. When people saw its first commercial during the 2008 Super Bowl and then saw Tony Stark driving it in the first Iron Man film, the world was hooked. Its presence was solely to thank for the droves of customers flocking to Audi dealerships wanting to buy a car from the same brand that made Iron Man’s car. Admittedly, it’s not as if Audi was in consumer obscurity at the time, as it was a very well-known brand. But the R8 made Audi sexy and desirable, rather than just that quirky German company with the Quattro sedans.
Now, we’re hearing reports that Audi might soon kill off the R8 in 2020, after this model reaches the end of its life-cycle. According to this report from Automobile Magazine, the Audi R8 will die in 2020, as the replacement for the Lamborghini Huracan debuts. Being that those two cars are built on the same chassis, it’s a wonder why Lamborghini would create a new Huracan while Audi will let the R8 die. Sure, it’s a very low-volume, slow-selling car but it’s also a very high-profit car and it’s a huge fan favorite.
The death of the Audi R8 also means the death of the potential Audi Sport hypercar, which would be powered by 1,000 hp V8 engine made from four 1.2 liter Ducati two-cylinder engines. Though, such a hypercar is far more likely to be killed off than the Audi R8. Such a project would be even more expensive to make and sell far less than the R8 does.
What’s interesting is that Audi Sport plans on increasing its portfolio with more SUVs. Cars like the upcoming Audi RS Q8, which will be the brand’s flagship SUV, will make Audi Sport quite a lot of money. High-performance SUVs are great for business, allowing car companies to make boatloads of cash that they can then invest in more exciting models. Just ask Porsche.
It’s incredibly disappointing to think that the Audi R8 might eventually be killed off. It’s by far and away our favorite car to wear four rings. Its 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 engine is a thing of joy and its mid-engine, supercar styling makes it by far the most tantalizing Audi in the brand’s lineup. Now, there’s even a limited rear-wheel drive model. We seriously hope that Audi ends up keeping the R8.