It’s been widely known for some time now that Audi would be killing off the R8 by 2020. Due to the lack of demand, high cost and the brand’s desire to push more electrification (rather than a naturally-aspirated, fuel-sucking V10), the R8’s days are numbered. However, Autocar is reporting that the Audi R8 will make a comeback in 2022 as a 1,000 hp, fully-electric hypercar. We don’t wanna say we told you so but… we told you so.
After seeing the Audi PB18 e-tron Concept at Pebble Beach, our first thought was that it would be replacing the current Audi R8. While it might not replace the R8 exactly, as the next-gen R8 might not be an electric shooting brake with a lateral-sliding driver’s seat, it seemed as if the PB18 was a sort of dress rehearsal for what’s to come.
It honestly makes a ton of sense for the brand to make the jump to electric, anyway. Both Audi and Porsche have been working together on fully-electric platforms and drivetrains, with Audi working on the e-tron SUV and Porsche on the Taycan. Also, Audi is trying to become a world leader in electrification and an all-electric hypercar could act as an electric halo car for Audi.
And if the Audi PB18 e-tron was a sort of rehearsal for what’s to come, for Audi to sort of gauge the market and see if such a car would be desirable, it seems as if it will get the part. At Pebble Beach, the PB18 was one of the most popular and exciting cars, constantly drawing crowds, actually making it difficult for us to get pictures of it.
Packing two electric motors making a combined 670 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque, with a temporary 764 hp boost mode, the PB18 is shy of the claimed 1,000 hp mark for the next-gen Audi R8. However, that doesn’t mean Audi can’t up the ante by 2022. Though, Audi claims the PB18 would be capable of 0-60 mph in just over two seconds. So even if it doesn’t reach 1,000 hp, we’re sure it will be fast enough.
This wouldn’t be the first electric R8, though. Audi created the R8 e-tron awhile back but it never officially reached production. It didn’t really attract enough customer interest to warrant production and it wasn’t really that good of a car. Sort of a swing and a miss. This new one, though, will stand a much better chance, with Audi having learned a lot about electrification since then and the PB18 gaining so much interest.
While we’ll miss the old-school Audi R8, with its spine-tingling free-breathing V10, the idea of a 1,000 hp, all-electric rocket from Audi is incredibly exciting. Bring it on.