Porsche may be forced to use the underpinnings of the next-generation Audi R8 for its all-new Ferrari 458 supercar rival — in spite of it being Volkswagen Group’s designated maker of platforms for future sports cars.
Development of this all-new part-carbonfibre architecture is already at an advanced stage and it was previewed on the Audi R8 E-tron concept at the recent Frankfurt motor show. It will underpin the second-gen R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo.
Porsche boss Matthias Müller outlined plans in August for a new supercar to slot between the 911 and 918 Spyder. But in spite of the firm’s desire to develop bespoke underpinnings for its 458 rival, Porsche may be forced to make use of the R8’s foundations. This is because VW considers the next R8 platform a suitable architecture for the Porsche and would save on development costs.
Such is Porsche’s desire to make a bespoke chassis, the firm could even delay its new supercar to coincide with the third generation of R8 and Gallardo in the early 2020s, with the trio using Porsche-developed underpinnings.
The second-gen R8 is also set to use the Audi-Bentley co-developed twin-turbo V8 that has been recently launched in the S8. Autocar understands that the engine can be pushed even further than the 513bhp developed in the S8.
The current R8 is due for a facelift at the Geneva motor show in March. Aside from cosmetic upgrades, the biggest developments will be an increase in power of the base 4.2-litre V8 to 450bhp and the 5.2-litre V10 to 552bhp.
A new dual-clutch seven-speed S-tronic gearbox will replace the current automated six-speeder.