Audi Sport made the rear-wheel drive R8 a regular-production mannequin in 2018, and regulatory filings counsel it is coming to the United States, however the firm pressured its mid-engined halo automobile will stay the lone exception to the Quattro rule. It’s not planning to build rear-wheel drive variants of any of the opposite cars in its lineup.
“We have used rear-wheel drive within the newest R8. But, usually, Quattro is a part of our heritage. It means protected, agile, and aggressive driving,” Rolf Michl, Audi Sport’s gross sales and advertising boss, instructed British journal Autocar.
His feedback seemingly rule out tail-happy variants of the RS 6 Avant (which is lastly out there within the United States) and the RS 7 Sportback, amongst others. It additionally closes the door to front-wheel drive fashions.
Looking forward, Audi Sport is engaged on its first series-produced electrical automobile. It might be carefully associated to the E-Tron GT idea launched on the 2018 version of the Los Angeles Auto Show, and it’ll share its structure with the Porsche Taycan. It possible will not stay the corporate’s solely battery-powered mannequin for lengthy, however Michl pressured his group determined that even upcoming electrical cars will want to provide Quattro all-wheel drive.
“I do not hear any totally different views [from people] on this, even with electrified variations sooner or later. We’ll stick with our strategy: Quattro is a significant a part of RS fashions,” he clarified throughout the identical interview.
Like the common E-Tron, the GT will obtain a through-the-road all-wheel drive system, that means there will not be a mechanical connection between the entrance and rear axles. Looking on the Taycan’s specs sheet suggests Audi will assign an electrical motor to every set of wheels and stuff a lithium-ion battery pack immediately beneath the passenger compartment. It will tune the drivetrain in-house as an alternative of copying and pasting it immediately from its sister firm. And, it instructed Autoblog the manufacturing mannequin will look so much just like the idea that previewed it.
Although stories declare Audi will retire the R8 nameplate on the finish of the present, second-generation mannequin’s life cycle, Michl revealed executives are nonetheless attempting to make a enterprise case for a substitute. He known as it “an actual brand-shaper,” however he warned deciding whether or not to transfer ahead with the challenge is tough as a result of “it has to match future expectations.” In different phrases, it wants to be suitably environment friendly to adjust to future emissions rules.
Unverified rumors concerning the R8’s future swirl across the web frequently. The newest nugget of insider data suggests the nameplate might see its lease on life prolonged, although it should want to be electrified in a method or one other. Audi is allegedly contemplating making it electrical, however it might select a hybrid powertrain as an alternative as a result of the R8 is carefully linked to the agency’s customer-racing program. It’s offered in GT2, GT3, and GT4 variants.