Audi R8 Spy Shots

The question of whether Audi will morph the next-gen R8 (pictured above, in testing) into a plug-in-hybrid challenger for the BMW i8 may have been answered. CarAdvice, in Australia, is claiming that any plans for a PHV 2016 R8 have been shelved, and that Audi will go ahead with gas-powered or all-electric models, only.

Even then, the electric R8 E-tron (if it ends up being called that) would be built-to-order, and in much smaller quantities than the gas-powered model.

"In the next generation we will have an electric car on behalf of customers' needs, which is only available [upon special order]," Audi product manager Marie Suzanne Ernst told CA. "So it's not a make of series production, but if a customer wants to have it, he can order it."

That's not to say that the importance of Audi's E-tron program, which includes both PHV and pure-electric applications, is lessening. Speaking to the local Audi outfit, CA was told that e-tron will be a "brand pillar," just like petrol and diesel power. It's just that the plug-in portion of the E-tron moniker won't be making it to the brand's primary halo vehicle.

Is this a good move in your eyes? All things being equal, would you rather spend money on an electric R8 or a plug-in model? Why? Have your say below, in Comments.