Audi R8 replacement expected to be 650-hp electric e-tron GTR

In March, we heard that the Audi R8 had a very uncertain future. If new rumors prove true, it appears the R8 will, in fact, die to make room for an all-electric supercar.

The information comes from British magazine Car, which reported Monday the R8 will morph into the "e-tron GTR." Sources close to the new vehicle program shared internal information about the proposed R8 successor, and it sounds like it should still thrill. Underneath is supposedly a version of Porsche's J1 platform, which will first be used for the Porsche Taycan. The Audi e-tron GT will also use the architecture. However, Audi's electric supercar will reportedly take advantage of solid-state batteries to boost performance and range.

The solid-state batteries will reportedly enable a range of 300 miles, though that is likely on the European WLTP cycle. Expect a shorter official range in the U.S. The report also says the car will have 650 horsepower and three electric motors to create an all-wheel-drive system. All of this will reportedly hit the market as soon as 2022. Solid-state batteries are expected to arrive sometime next decade, but 2022 might be an optimistic timeline for their mass production, based on previously available information.

The switch from R8 to an e-tron-badged supercar comes as cars like the R8 and TT enter executives' crosshairs in the mission for profitability. The March report claimed that both the R8 and TT have incredibly uncertain futures within Audi. If either car has a shot at continued production, electrification is a must.

"Audi Sport must have e-mobility, and our icons for the brand must become electric. We are in discussions regarding the sporty cars and the RS vehicles," Audi board member for technical development Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler told Car.

In Marh, Rothenpieler said it's his goal to convince colleagues that both the R8 and TT should live on. If they do, expect electrified powertrains in some form. Perhaps Rothenpieler will view the e-tron GTR as the R8's successor.

The e-tron GTR is expected to be different than the car Audi previewed with the PB18 concept at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. However, Audi CEO Bram Schot also said the PB18 will enter production in a limited run of just 50 cars.