The future Audi’s famed sports cars – the TT and R8 – are in doubt as the automaker is committing most of its resources to electrification.
In a report by the Automotive News, Audi is reducing model complexity and cutting costs after being overwhelmed by its diesel-cheating scandal and implementation of the stricter new emission standards, the WLTP.
The Audi TT and R8 might have successful, high-profile presence in motorsports and a strong fan base, but these models are usually high in cost and poor return on investment due to low sales volume.
Audi’s head of Technical Development, Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler told Automotive News, “We engineers want them and our sales colleagues want them, but it is a question of whether we can afford them.”
Rothenpieler also said that the two models are part of Audi’s DNA. It will be difficult to keep them being in pure combustion engine powertrain, as the profit margin targets set by Volkswagen Group for new models now include CO2 emissions.
No decision has been made yet regarding successor models, he added.
Audi CEO Bram Schot said the brand’s future sports car might be electric, hinting at potential battery-powered successors.
Audi did showcase a fully-electric sportscar concept at last year's Pebble Beach Automotive Week and many felt it foreshadows the Audi R8 of the future.
Meanwhile, a fully-electric high-performance Gran Turismo (GT) is already in place for market launch, with Audi planning to introduce the model by the end of next year.
Audi targets to have 12 fully-electric vehicles by 2025 and hopes to achieve roughly one-third of its total sales with electrified models.