Report: Next-Gen R8 Will Need Hybrid Power, to Go Racing

It seems like there’s a new report out about the mythical third-generation R8 every week, but the latest one suggests that it would need to keep some form of gas engine so that it can still go racing.

That’s according to Oliver Hoffman, Audi Sport’s managing director, who spoke to Top Gear in an article published today. Although he predicated this all by saying no decisions had been reached, he did have some ideas of the project’s minimum requirements.

“With this next generation we have to fulfill all the regulations worldwide,” said Hoffman. “That means it will be a car with an electrification part. But the current model is the base model for our customer racing and we have to fulfill that demand in the future.”

It’s heartening to hear that, despite not having solid confirmation, the idea of a third-generation R8 can still survive. It’s also heartening to hear that Hoffman wants to keep it as close to race-ready as possible.

“We work very closely with the guys from motorsport regarding battery technology, regarding power electronics and so on,” said Hoffman. “So for us, this is a good chance to get experience from our sports guys, and we bring it in our series cars.”

While that still opens the door for engine downsizing—a V10 is, after all, a ridiculous, albeit delightfully so, engine—but it does seem to suggest that Audi is considering keeping it a mostly internal combustion-powered car.

The picture is still anything but clear, whatever happens next, Hoffman doesn’t seem to believe that it will mean less power.

“There’s a high demand from our customers for more and more power,” he told TG. “And electrification is a foundation for our future. In terms of meeting all the regulations worldwide, but also to increase power. So with electrification, we have the chance to increase the full system power.”

Hoffman admits, though, that even though power will be relatively easy to increase in the next generation, electrification does add weight.

“This is the challenge for the next generation of RS models,” said Hoffman. “We will electrify our portfolio. And managing the weight is the main challenge when we develop hybrid cars.”