Audi appears to have set off a chain reaction with its forthcoming R8 sports car. The automaker's primary competitors, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, are both cooking up their own new sports cars. Auto Motor und Sport reports that BMW is busy working on the Z9 for 2010. The front-engined Z9 would eschew the Z8's retro themes for a more current look, and be powered at first by a version of the M5/M6 V10 making 500+ horses. That engine could possibly be joined by a 400+ hp V8 after the car's initial release.

Meanwhile, at Mercedes, speculation abounds regarding the rumored 2010 supercar, which, based on previous reports, will be driven by a 750-hp twin-turbocharged version of the AMG V8, sport gullwing doors and be developed entirely by AMG mad scientists. Auto Motor und Sport reports that said powerplant will be mounted amidships, and the rendering above is the German mag's theory of what this AMG sports car could look like. We think it looks just fine.

Let the rumor-mongering continue!

[Source: Auto Motor und Sport]