Electric Audi R8 tipped for new supercar platform

electric audi r8

R8 successor will stay true to two-door (partially) hand-built formula

Audi is understood to be developing a bespoke electric vehicle architecture for low-volume, purpose-built sports cars and supercars – and it is set to spawn an electric Audi R8.

The firm is poised to launch a wave of models atop the new PPE platform it has developed with Porsche, starting with the Audi Q6 E-tron early next year, and it will subsequently begin launching cars on the VW Group’s long-mooted SSP platform, which is due to enter production in 2027. 

At the 2023 Munich motor show, technical boss Oliver Hoffmann also confirmed that Audi will deploy the VW Group’s MEB platform – as used by the VW ID 3, Cupra Born and Audi Q4 E-tron – for future entry-level electric cars.

But when pressed for details on whether any of these platforms would suit lower-volume, more sporting EVs in the vein of the TT and R8, he hinted that the firm would instead invest in a bespoke sports car architecture, which would use elements of the SSP architecture – a fusion of the MEB and PPE platforms that Hoffmann referred to as a “toolkit”. 

“I’m talking about iconic cars – sports cars and so on,” said Hoffmann. “We will use systems and modules out of the [SSP] platform, or toolkit, and there is some space to bring cars out of the platform. For these cars, we will use modules or systems from the platforms.”

Hoffmann stopped short of confirming what this structure would look like and did not elaborate on plans for direct successors to Audi’s current sports cars – which each bow out in 2023 – but he did reveal that work is under way.

“We have a clear focus on  the launch of this big model line-up,” said Hoffmann. 

“In the next two years, we will bring nearly 20 new products – more than 50% battery-electric. This is our clear focus but, to be honest, we are working on different concepts and projects.” 

SSP architecture

The SSP platform will eventually be used by around 80% of cars across the entire VW Group portfolio, which, suggested Hoffmann, leaves room for some models to ride on re-engineered variations of the structure or other architectures entirely. 

VW Group CEO Oliver Blume has already confirmed that SSP will accommodate powertrains with outputs of up to 1700bhp, suggesting that purpose-built electric sports cars and supercars are on their way. 

Notably, Audi’s sibling brand has confirmed that its upcoming Porsche K1 luxury SUV – to sit above the Cayenne – will be its first model based on its own reworking of the VW Group architecture, dubbed SSP Sport.

This emphasises the flexibility of the platform, and the broad range of models and segments for which it can be used.

Hoffmann confirmed that Audi will reveal its first SSP-based EVs “in the very early phase” of the platform’s life cycle and added: “At the end of this decade, you will see a wider portfolio based on SSP.”

Insiders at Audi have previously told Autocar that work is well under way on an electric successor to the R8, staying true to the venerable supercar’s formula with two doors, racing-inspired characteristics and more power than anything else in the German brand’s line-up. 

The company is also keen that any R8 successor is still partly hand-built, like the current car, to cement its halo positioning and high price.

Source: Autocar

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