Without question, the Audi R8 has been a runaway hit for the Ingolstadt-based luxury brand, helping solidify its on-road car lineup and tie it to the LeMans-dominating race cars that inspired it.
Now, Audi is moving its operations from Nekarsulm, Germany, to Böllinger Höfe, as it plans out an even more modern, sophisticated plant with its operations more closely tied to one another. Audi is expecting to have the new facility finished by 2014 and should have it done before the Audi R8-replacing sports car is set to start production midway through the year.
“The new production facility is a key element for the future viability and competitiveness of the Audi site,” said Plant Manager Fred Schulze, in a statement. “The construction project provides the space necessary for high-volume production in Neckarsulm.”
“All of our manufacturing expertise for the R8 will then be completely consolidated under one roof,” said Managing Director of quattro GmbH Franciscus van Meel, in a statement. “This will enable us to optimize our production process and further expand our small-scale production expertise at the Neckarsulm site.” Quattro, by the way, is both the name of Audi’s all-wheel-drive system and its high-performance division that concocts R, S, and RS models.
Audi says the new plant will be more environmentally friendly, using rain water for heating and cooling, for instance.
The car should be different, too. When Audi first debuted the R8 sports car, it was still using a twin-turbocharged V-8 in its R8 race car. Since then, powertrains have moved into V-10, diesel, and hybrid configurations. That said, if the latest Audi R20 racer has a hybrid diesel powertrain, don’t be too surprised if one is also offered in the next roadgoing car. We’ll certainly find out sometime within the first half of next year when we expect an all-new R8 replacement to show up sometime around the same time as the 2015 Lamborghini Cabrera.