Audi appears to have a new project in the works, based on its recent application to trademark the name “R8 Green Hell", a reference to the famous Nurburgring circuit in Germany.
The application, filed earlier this month, points to Audi possibly developing a faster iteration of its existing mid-engined R8 sports car.
The 'Green Hell' name is likely inspired by Germany’s famous Nürburgring racing circuit, which was once referred to as ‘Green Hell’ by British Formula One driver Jackie Stewart.
Nicknamed as such for the thick forest that surrounds it, as well as its often "hellish" conditions, the track has long been used as a proving ground for manufacturers honing their performance models.
Holding a record lap of Nürburgring’s ‘Nordschleife’ configuration – its longest and most rigorous, at 20.81km length and 154 corners – has also become a special kind of bragging right for manufacturers.
Although not confirmed, the trademark application suggests Audi may be planning a special version of its mid-engined R8 sports car to take the crown of fastest road-legal car around Green Hell.
If Audi is going after the top spot, it could mean extensive modifications to the R8’s 5.2-litre V10 engine, boosting power from the standard outputs of 449kW and 560Nm.
It’s also likely the R8 Green Hell would get revised suspension, stickier tyres and an improved aerodynamics package to help put that power down on the circuit it’s named after.
To put the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ's time (and the R8 Green Hell’s potential competition at Nordschleife) into context, second place is held by the Porsche 911 GT2 RS with a 6:47.25 lap time.
Rounding out the top 10 – less than 17 seconds behind the Aventador – is the Dodge Viper ACR with a time of 7:01.3, showing how tight margins become at the pointy-end of competition.
However, Audi is no stranger to winning at the Nordschleife, after snatching the title of fastest SUV around Green Hell with its 2020 RS Q8 late last year. The marque has also built race-variants of its R8 to win at Nurburgring.
The standard Audi R8 was taken off the Australian market in early 2019, however the model will make a return in late 2020.
It’s early days for the R8 Green Hell and whether Australia would receive the model, as the trademark application for its title is still listed as “under examination” on the European Union Intellectual Property Office website.