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    Audi Bids Farewell to the R8 in Heartfelt ‘The Last Lap’ Video

    At the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi unveiled the Le Mans Quattro concept, which later evolved into the first-generation R8 around three years later. The original concept car featured a twin-turbo 5.0-liter V10 engine, but the production model opted for a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter mill. This V10 engine remained a staple of the R8 lineup until the recent introduction of the GT RWD model.

    In addition to the V10 variant, the first-generation R8 was also offered with a smaller 4.2-liter V8 engine, both of which were available with a gated manual gearbox. The second-generation R8, debuted in 2015, was exclusively powered by a V10 engine and lacked a manual transmission option. To celebrate the various iterations of the R8 over the years, Audi created a video titled “The Last Lap,” which allowed fans to participate in the production process by selecting shooting locations and contributing to the storyline and soundtrack.

    The video showcases a range of R8s, including early models equipped with the coveted six-speed manual gearbox, as well as the more track-focused GT version derived from the first-generation R8. The 2023 GT RWD, which represents the final version of the R8, also makes an appearance. Notably absent from the lineup is the fully electric E-Tron variant, which had a limited production run of fewer than 100 units and carried a price tag of approximately $1 million each.

    Furthermore, there was a lesser-known R8 concept powered by a twelve-cylinder diesel engine, known as the R8 V12 TDI. This diesel-powered supercar boasted a twin-turbo 6.0-liter engine producing nearly 500 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. It offered a six-speed manual gearbox and achieved a 0-62 mph time of 4.2 seconds, with a top speed exceeding 186 mph. While the diesel R8 never made it to production, its engine did find its way into the Q7 V12 TDI SUV.

    Earlier this year, there were discussions about an entry-level R8 featuring an inline-five engine. This variant would have been rear-wheel drive and available with either a manual or dual-clutch transmission. It would have been powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine borrowed from the TT RS and RS3, offering less horsepower but more torque compared to the V10 engine.

    Looking ahead, Audi plans to introduce a third-generation R8 that will likely forgo the combustion engine entirely and become a fully electric supercar. The new R8 is expected to be built on the VW Group’s Scalable Systems Platform (SSP). Meanwhile, Lamborghini is also preparing a successor to the Huracan, which will feature a hybrid powertrain with a twin-turbocharged V8 engine. It is speculated that the V8 will be complemented by an electric motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission with a unique power delivery profile.

    Interestingly, Audi and Lamborghini will no longer be sharing costs for their respective supercars. Lamborghini has achieved significant financial success, allowing it to develop its own models independently. As a result, the R8 will transition to a fully electric model without any ties to Lamborghini’s future plans.

    In conclusion, the R8 has come a long way since its inception as the Le Mans Quattro concept. The supercar has seen several iterations, including V10 and V8 engines, manual and automatic transmissions, and the possibility of an entry-level I5 variant. While the V10 engine will soon be retired by the Volkswagen Group, Audi plans to continue the R8 legacy with a fully electric version in the future.

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