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Audi R8 discontinued in Australia amid engine homologation challenges


Audi Australia has discontinued its flagship, mid-engined R8 supercar and has no plans to bring the model back in the future.

The Audi R8 supercar is dead in Australia with the German brand confirming the end of the line for the mid-engined, V10-powered supercar for our market.

Citing “local homologation reasons”, Audi will no longer sell the R8 in Australia and will instead turn its efforts toward its other Audi Sport performance vehicle offerings.

It’s likely that a combination of declining local sales and the fact that Australian R8s had a specific engine tune that is now outdated in Europe have contributed to the axing.

The company decided not to homologate the R8 as it likely could not justify the associated costs with such a low-volume supercar. 

Audi R8 V10 2021 rear
The Audi R8 is one of the last production cars to utilise a V10 engine.

Unlike two-door sports cars such as the Nissan GT-R and Alpine A110, which have also just been discontinued in Australia, the R8 wasn’t cancelled due to ADR side-impact collision compliance. 

Since it launched here in September 2007, Audi has sold 681 R8s in Australia. In 2021, the company sold just 29 examples up to the end of August.

What could replace the R8?

The company has hinted that an R8 replacement might be a possibility, with Audi Australia’s corporate communications manager Shaun Cleary saying “AUDI AG is currently discussing various concepts for a possible R8 successor, but no decision has been made so far.”

An EV R8 is certainly not out of the question considering an R8 E-tron electric concept was created back in 2015, producing 340kW of power and 920Nm of torque

Audi R8 V10 2021 interior
Audi is a master of the luxury interior, and the R8 shows this craftsmanship.

Despite the fact that the R8 E-tron never got off the ground, it’s predicted that the latest electric E-tron models will help fill the void left by the Audi R8, along with a broad RS petrol range. 

The RS E-tron electric sports sedan is soon to launch here in Australia and will combine 440kW (475kW in boost mode) with 830Nm of torque and can launch to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds. 

It may not look as supercar as an R8 but it has all the performance credentials of one. What’s stopping Audi from adapting this powertrain to an future-generation R8? 

Audi R8 origins and history

The R8 originated from the Le Mans quattro concept car and was first unveiled at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show. The R8 stayed faithful to the concept and was revealed to the public in 2006. 

One engine was available at launch, the B6 RS4’s 4.2-litre naturally aspirated V8. A 5.2-litre V10 arrived two years later.

Audi R8 V10 2021 front driving
The R8’s V10 creates a unique, offbeat exhaust ‘warble’ not found in other supercars.

Between 2006 and 2015, Audi produced the Type 42 first generation R8. In 2015, a new-gen Type 4S was introduced and is still currently on sale, sporting a much more powerful V10 engine (the V8 option was dropped for the second-generation R8). 

The Audi R8 shared most of its componentry with the Lamborghini Gallardo and now shares its DNA with the Lamborghini Huracan.

The R8 made its Hollywood debut in the Marvel Universe, first appearing in Iron Man alongside Robert Downey Jr. It has since been used in a further five films in both Type 42 and Type 4S specifications.