The sprawling Volkswagen Empire is in the process of consolidating its vehicle architectures. To help quell the industrial chaos Porsche was put in charge of sports-car development, but now it’s reported the next-generation Audi R8 will not share Zuffenhausen’s latest architecture.
Known as the modular standard platform in English, it supports front-mounted engines and rear-wheel drive. A sport variant that accommodates mid- or rear-mounted powertrains was also developed. This was the architecture that was supposed to be the foundation for the upcoming R8 supercar, but no more.
Sources indicate the R8, expected to debut in late 2014, was already too far along in development to take advantage of the Porsche platform. The next-generation 911 is expected to utilize it, though. It’s also likely the company’s upcoming Ferrari fighter, the Porsche 961, will share it too.
Today’s R8 takes advantage of Audi’s extensive experience working with aluminum. The car’s spaceframe architecture is lightweight and rigid, but the next version is expected to incorporate new materials.
It’s going on a high-fiber diet, carbon fiber that is. Large portions of the vehicle’s structure are expected to be built out of the material, which will save even more mass compared to conventional steel.
If Audi’s Crosslane concept that was revealed at the Paris Motor Show is any clue, the next-generation platform will be called the “multi-material spaceframe.” The Lamborghini Gallardo replacement could share this architecture as well.
Less weight is always a good thing in a performance car and so is a powerful engine. Like the current version, the upcoming R8 is expected to offer buyers two choices: upgraded versions of today’s 4.2-liter V8 and 5.2-liter V10.
[Source: Car and Driver]