Next Audi R8 to get turbocharged V6, cheaper price

So apparently there's no let up in the Audi Sport development schedule. Earlier in the week we had spy shots of the RS Q8 and new RS6 testing, now it's the turn of the facelifted R8. The big news here - according to our chums at the Autocar - is that the manufacturer has taken up the option of installing the twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 from the RS4/5 in the car, thereby creating an entry-level replacement for the old V8 model.

The business case for such an R8 is self evident. The current version, available exclusively with the 5.2-litre V10, is over £110k even in its cheaper-to-buy RWS format. It is also fabulously expensive to run and emits a carefree 283g/km CO2 (309g/km if you have it as a Spyder with the higher output). With a V6 dropped in the middle, you could expect a sub six-figure price tag, much cheaper running costs and (for some markets, at least) less expensive taxation, too.

On paper, performance is unlikely to be an issue either. So far we've seen 450hp from the new 2.9-litre unit - but its potential is likely to be much greater. Already the idea of 500hp and 500lb ft of torque have been mooted for the R8, which would mean it eclipsing the peak twist produced by even the Plus-grade V10. Obviously it would be lighter, too - and that virtue certainly helped the V8's case when measured against big brother.

Nevertheless, extended comparison with the old eight-cylinder model is probably not helpful. The combination of Audi's naturally-aspirated 4.2-litre unit and its famously metal-gated manual transmission lived long in the memory, and is unlikely to be exceeded by the auto-box equipped V6, no matter how thrusting it turns out to. Instead, as with the latest RS4/5, we'll probably have to get used it being a modestly different kettle of fish. That doesn't mean it won't be exceptional in its own right, of course - or better than, say, a £102k Mercedes AMG GT. Which is obviously the point.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (111) Join the discussion on the forum

  • cuda 14 Jun 2018

    Must be difficult operating that gearlever button with the little finger of one's right hand...

  • Terminator X 14 Jun 2018

    Great idea although would many people buy the "poor mans" version?


  • Chestrockwell 14 Jun 2018

    I get the impression that this could be quicker than the V10

  • Plate spinner 14 Jun 2018

    Terminator X said:
    Great idea although would many people buy the "poor mans" version?

    If they price it close to a base 911, then I’m sure many will consider it.

  • wab172uk 14 Jun 2018

    I loved my old V8 Manual.

    Sadly, I don't think this would even register on my `list` of potential cars. While the V6 will be lighter and give very good performance, it'll be pegged back by Audi so not to step on the V10's toes. So making it slower than the Vanilla V10 will make it about the same speed as the TT-RS.

    OK, one is an R8, and the other just a TT, but for the difference in price would you be happy buying the V6 R8 and be only as quick as the much much cheaper TT?

    Part of the appeal (for me) was the manual. Sadly, Audi won't offer this, so just another "stick it in D" fast but boring car.

    And for me, the old R8 was by far the better looking car. Really don't like Audi design these days.

    Edited by wab172uk on Thursday 14th June 14:34

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