Production of the next-generation Audi R8 has been confirmed to start mid next year at a brand-new facility in Germany.
In addition to housing body manufacturing and assembly facilities, the new 23-hectare facility, which the German car maker says comprises roughly one quarter of its entire Neckarsulm site, includes a 325m-long, 115m-wide logistics hall. Scheduled to begin operation in early 2014, the hall is also to be environmentally conscious, with rain water being collected and reused and selected areas heated using solar energy.
Audi quattro GmbH managing director Franciscus van Meel said the project allowed all R8 manufacturing to be completely consolidated under one roof.
“This will enable us to optimise our production process and further expand our small-scale production expertise at the Neckarsulm site,” van Meel said.
Audi says around 250 current employees will move workplaces to fulfil roles at Bollinger Hofe.
Based on the 368kW/510Nm 5.0-litre V10-powered Lamborghini Gallardo, the the first-generation Audi R8 officially launched at the 2006 Paris motor show with a 309kW/430Nm 4.2-litre V8 engine. This was followed in 2010 by the R8 V10, which employed a 5.2-litre 10-cylinder unit to produce 386kW and 530Nm, and in 2013 by the 404kW/540Nm R8 V10 plus.
The second-generation Audi R8 is anticipated to make its debut at next year's Geneva motor show in March, and again share much in common with the upcoming replacement for the Lamborghini Gallardo due to be unveiled in early 2014.
Strongly rumoured to be called the ‘Cabrera', after a breed of Spanish fighting bull, the next Lamborghini – recently spied at the Nurburgring – will be based on a carbonfibre/aluminium spaceframe and is tipped to use a more powerful version of the brand's existing 5.2-litre V10 engine uprated to deliver around 450kW.
A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which debuted in the facelifted Audi R8, is expected to feature in both models, sending power to all four wheels.