Don't worry, the V10 isn't going anywhere.
There’ve been all sorts of rumors regarding the Audi R8’s future. For example, we recently heard the current second generation will be the last. We also learned a twin-turbo V6 engine for a so-called entry-level trim was set. Then that plan was cancelled. Or was it? According to Autocar, a more affordable Audi R8 will launch later this year, just in time for the car’s mid-life facelift. The less expensive R8 is said to be powered by the same twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 that’s also utilized in the Porsche Panamera and Audi RS4 and RS5.
With the naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V8 now out of the picture, the new V6 option will essentially fill the void. The R8 is currently offered only with the 5.2-liter V10 with either 533 hp or 602 hp. As recent spy shots show, Audi is currently putting the finishing touches on what appears to be the hardcore R8 GT. Chances are, output from that naturally aspirated V10 will go even higher. Given that, it does make sense for a less expensive, more economical R8 in the lineup. The V6 in question is certainly no slouch. In the Panamera 4S, for example, it produces 434 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. Autocar believes that with a few mechanical tweaks, Audi engineers can increase output to more than 500 hp and 500 lb-ft.
Another question that still has no answer, and this is assuming the V6 will happen, is whether, a rear-wheel drive version will be offered. Last September, Audi unveiled the R8 RWD, a car that happened mainly due to customer demand. Assuming the R8 V6 is seriously happening, chances are we’ll see its debut by the end of the year.