Believe it or not, the Audi R8, which gained superstar status thanks to its appearance in the Ironman movie back in 2008, is due for a replacement very soon. However, the bad news is, Audi will ditch the manual transmission for the next generation R8.
According to Audi technical chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, the new R8, due in 2015, is based on the “same general layout” as the Lamborghini Huracán, but with wider tracks and a longer wheelbase. Similar to the current R8, the V8 and V10 engines, together with all-wheel drive configuration will remain, but dual-clutch transmission (DCT) will replace the standard manual.
“The engine and gearbox will be the same, but with different applications,” said Hackenberg. “The suspension layout and geometry is different, so we can tune different characteristics.” Some time during the car’s life-cycle, the R8 “will need a turbocharged engine” added Hackenberg. “In some countries, you need to reduce the capacity of engines also and we need to find solutions for these markets. So we’re looking at smaller engines, yes.” In short, a turbocharged R8 might surface beyond 2016.
It would be a shame as Audi is joining a similar act by other supercar makers to ditch the manual transmission, as after all, Audi has one of the most beautifully designed gate-shift manuals that ever existed, and furthermore the R8 was initially offered with a manual transmission when it was first launched in 2007. However, with the Huracán using the DCT, it makes more sense for Audi to follow suit, all in the name of cost efficiency for all-mighty VW group.
[Source: Autocar UK]