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Audi to cease R8 development after current generation?

Audi's R&D head says there are no plans to invest in a replacement.

Audi may be preparing to ax the R8 after the current generation has run its course.

The second-generation R8 is only entering its third year of production, following a nearly decade-long run for the first generation introduced in 2006.

Volkswagen Group's pivot to electrification has consequently sparked a shift toward new platform architectures, designed from the ground up to integrate larger batteries and electric motor drive systems. The company is investing tens of billions of dollars in such projects. Some of the funds will undoubtedly be tied to phasing out low-priority models.

Speaking to Car and Driver at the Geneva Motor Show, Audi R&D head Peter Mertens said the company currently has no plans for a direct successor to the current R8.

The R8 may be an attractive halo car for the brand, but presumably serves as a cash drain with US sales of just 772 units in 2017. Previous rumors suggest the current model will reach the end of its life cycle around 2020.

Mertens qualified his statement with the typical "never say never" footnote, while promising Audi's roadmap will still have plenty of high-performance models even if the R8 doesn't carry forward in its current form.

"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," the executive added.