It’ll be years before we know the full implications of VW Group’s emissions-fixing scandal, but already we’re getting a clearer picture of what it could mean for VAG subsidiary Audi in the near future.
According to German publication Der Spiegel, Audi-developed platforms may well go in the name of cost-cutting. The main implication would be the death of the MLB platform that underpins everything from the A4 to the A8. It’d most likely be replaced by a common architecture used between Audi, Porsche and Bentley for anything A6-sized and larger, with the A4 and A5 forced to adopt VW Group’s widely used MQB platform.
Of greater interest is what the whole no Audi-developed platforms thing means for the Audi R8. Der Spiegel’s report calls into question the future of the R8 - after all, it does sit on an Audi-developed, space-frame-based platform. If a third-generation R8 does happen, it would most likely be based on the Porsche 911, according to Der Spiegel. Really?
This part of the report we’re not so sure about. Unless a mid-engined 911 is around the corner, we really can’t see Audi making a rear-engined supercar. And also, what this prediction doesn’t factor in is the eventual replacement for the R8-related Lamborghini Huracan.
Only a few weeks ago VW Group’s advisory board chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch was quoted as ruling out flogging brands to see it through the financial turmoil, which means Lamborghini is going nowhere. It’d make sense then for the next versions of the R8 and Huracan to share a common platform once more. Whether or not that’d see Lamborghini taking on more of the platform development burden than Audi, we can only speculate.
It’s far too early to call this one, but for now we’ll remain cautiously optimistic about the future of the R8.
Source: Der Spiegel via Autocar