Audi looks set to take a “very conservative” approach to its next-generation Audi R8 LMS that could be the final V10-powered GT3 model in its racing lineup.
The German manufacturer, which unveiled an Evo kit to its exiting second-generation R8 LMS GT3 car this year, looks certain to retain the R8 model for the next GT3 regulations refresh, which is due in 2022.
It comes one year prior to the potential retirement of the current V10-powered Audi R8 production car, which could transform into a hybrid or all-electric model within the manufacturer’s lineup.
Speaking to Sportscar365, Head of Audi Sport customer racing Chris Reinke reaffirmed their commitment to the R8 in sports car racing, stating that he doesn’t see a need to shift to a different model for the time being.
“At the moment we have a very solid GT3 product so for us we don’t really see a need to completely set up a new GT3 car,” he said. “It’s a very stable, successful story all around the world.
“Our approach is a very conservative on that one. When it’s running why do you bother discussing changes?”
Reinke indicated that even if the road car goes out of production, they’ll be able to continue to race the R8 LMS through the entire homologation cycle, which is set to run from 2022-2024.
“At the moment we only launched a new R8. That model will run at least through 2023,” he said.
“When we talk about having an influence on our basis as a race car, we talk about the next homologation cycle. That’s 2025.
“We might extend the road car, so for the next homologation period, I’m OK.
“To foresee where the sports car market goes in 2025, this is all about a concept of the [powertrain]. We don’t know. Are we ready for electric or hybrid? We don’t have to decide now.
“The 2022 approach from our side will be very conservative and then we will have to consider is 2025 ready for a complete new drivetrain concept?”
Discussions on the 2025 GT3 regulations are understood to not yet have formally begun, with current focus on defining the next cycle for 2022, which could see a reduction in aero development and other cost-savings measures, although no fundamental changes to the design.
While Audi looks set to stick with its R8, fellow German manufacturer BMW will likely make the move from a M6 to M4 model for its next-generation GT3 car that will also debut in 2022.