In an interview with Car and Driver at the recent Geneva Motor Show, Peter Mertens said that while sales of the R8 "are doing okay", no plans are currently in place to produce a follow-up as the Ingolstadt automaker's budget will now have to be divided between traditional combustion engine vehicles, plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles.
"All three concepts will have a future. There will be very traditional combustion-engine high-performance vehicles, pure battery-electric vehicles on the high-performance side, and our sister brand Porsche also very much proves with their plug-in hybrids that the combination of both is a fantastic answer as well," Mertens told the publication.
Questioned on a new R8's though, Mertens remarked, "I would say so [to a replacement]. I always get [my PR chief] very nervous when I start talking about that stuff. Never say never; performance cars are good for Audi".
Meanwhile, spy photographers have captured what appears to be the updated R8 undergoing testing, wearing only minimal camouflage and sporting a wider, redesigned grille, new side skirts, larger side air intakes, wider rear diffuser, oval instead of trapezoidal exhaust outlets and a reworked rear fascia.
While the interior is expected to incorporate design cues from the new A6, A7 and A8, the biggest change will, however, be reserved for the engine where the Volkswagen Group's 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 will fill the gap left vacant by the normally aspirated 4.2-litre V8. The flagship 5.2-litre V10 will remain but with an alleged boost in power and torque.
According to reports, the updated R8 will debut later this year with sales likely to start in early 2019.
IMAGES from carscoops.com