There's no denying the Audi R8 is a fantastic supercar, but it may not be getting a replacement in the long term, according to a new report out of the US.
"I would say so," he said, when asked if there was no successor for the V10-engined supercar in the pipeline, though he added: "Never say never – performance cars are good for Audi".
One reason could be that Audi is planning a range of electric and plug-in hybrid versions of its next-generation products – meaning a greater amount of its development budget will be spent these new powertains.
Mertens also confirmed with Car and Driver that high-performance versions of all three powertrain types (combustion, PHEV and EV) will be offered.
"There will be very traditional combustion-engine high-performance vehicles, pure battery-electric vehicles on the high-performance side, and our sister brand Porsche also very much proves with their plug-in hybrids that the combination of both is a fantastic answer as well," he said.
However, it's not the be-all and end-all just yet. The report claims Audi "is known" to be working on the rumoured twin-turbo V6 entry-level version of the R8, though a reveal/launch date is not specified.
Making 331kW and 600Nm in the RS4 and RS5, the new engine should be more than enough to propel the R8 from 0-100km/h in under 4.0 seconds while using significantly less fuel than the current 5.2-litre V10 shared with the Lamborghini Huracan.
We'll have to wait and see, however, whether any of the publication's claims turn out to be true. Stay tuned.