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Audi confirms R8 successor will be totally electric

Audi has intentions to keep building exciting performance cars, but it's banking on batteries when it comes to the R segment.

Audi R8 RWD
Whatever comes next will be totally electric.

We don't know if the R8 as we know it will live on, but whatever succeeds it will be electric. Linda Kurz, Audi Sport's head of product marketing, confirmed with Roadshow on Wednesday the next car will not feature an internal-combustion engine.

After dipping its toes in electric performance with the E-Tron GT, Audi Sport's "next challenge" will be work to "transform the R segment, and the R segment is going to be fully electric. This is our job for the next decade," she said. To be clear, that doesn't mean we're going to get a next-generation R8, but whatever replaces Audi Sport's halo car will be totally electric, whether it's called an R8 or not.

This will start happening pretty quickly. Aside from cars under the R segment, RS badged cars will dive into electrification heavily, Kurz added. By 2026, 80% of the RS lineup will feature some sort of electrification, and that includes forthcoming purely electric RS-badged models. None of this is a particular shock, but the rate at which we'll start to see silent Audi R vehicles and RS-badged cars zipping around is a mighty quick clip.

The R8 as we know it continues to soldier on with the V10 Performance model in both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive flavors. The brand bid farewell to previous "entry-level" R8 V10 Quattro last year. The consolation prize is anyone buying an R8 these days is treated to 610 horsepower, up from the base R8 model's 562 hp.