Audi ready to send R8 to (Green) Hell

The Audi R8 LMS GT2.

Audi has made no secret the future of its V10-powered R8 supercar is electric – but the petrol-powered version looks set to go out with a bang.

The German brand has reportedly filed a trademark request for the nameplate ‘R8 Green Hell’ which suggests a more potent version of the car is on the way, and has a lap record at the Nurburgring Nordschleife (nicknamed The Green Hell by Jackie Stewart) in its sights.

While there are no official details about what changes Audi could make to a Green Hell edition of the R8, there are some obvious options for the brand. Audi is no stranger to the Nurburgring, competing regularly on the 20km circuit with its R8 LMS GT3 racer.

It has also developed the R8 GT2, a track-day special that is designed for gentleman racers that has a more powerful engine than the road-going R8 but less downforce than the GT3 car. While the R8 Performance road car makes 449kW the R8 GT2 makes 470kW from its highly-tuned version of the 5.2-litre V10.

The Audi PB18 e-tron concept.

Coupled with some of the handling upgrades from the GT2 and GT3 a potential R8 Green Hell could have enough performance to beat the current Nurburgring production car lap record, a 6:44.97sec lap set by the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ.

Of course, it’s worth noting that car companies trademark names for a variety of reasons, but while the R8 has served its purpose as a hero model for the brand well, Audi sees its future in electric vehicles – even its performance models. The brand is aiming to introduce 30 electrified (full EV of hybrid) models by the end of 2025 and that will include replacements for the R8 and TT sports cars.

Audi has already indicated the e-tron GT (a four-ring version of the Porsche Taycan) will launch by 2021 to lead a new wave of battery-powered performance for the brand. It has also hinted at an electric supercar to replace the R8, the 570kW PB18 e-tron Concept displayed at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours.

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