Leaked Document Shows Audi R8 V6 Is A Go For 2018
The Four Rings appear to have a busy 2017 and 2018 aheadby Kirby, on
Rumors of a possible V-6 version of the Audi R8 have been around since February 2015 and while whispers have remained dormant since then, everything came to a head when a leaked Audi product schedule shows that the R8 V6 will become a reality in 2018.
The leaked image comes by way of Autobahn.eu and it points to a lot of revealing information surrounding the German automaker’s production schedule over the next two years. Arguably the most important of these releases is the R8 V6, a car that until this schedule leaked out, has been discussed and debated in rumor mills all over the Internet. Well, debate no more, fellas, because the R8 V6 is about to become a reality.
The R8 V6 will definitely get the lion’s share of the discussion here, but just as important is the road map for Audi’s other models. Granted, the schedule only reveals the latter half of 2017 and 2018, but judging by the photos and labels of those cars, as seen on the upper left of the photo, we’re going to see a lot of models introduced in the first half of next year.
The Audi A5/S5 will probably kick off Audi’s year, while the R8 Spyder and the TT RS will follow suit. Then there’s the line connected to the Audi Q5/SQ5. It’s not shown in the photo, but it appears that those models are scheduled for an April 2017 launch. It becomes a lot clearer from there with a handful of Audi A5/S5 models projected for a May 2017 release. From there, it’s the SQ7 getting a July 2017 release, followed by the RS3 Sedan in August 2017 and the Q7 e-tron rounding out the year in October 2017.
The 2018 releases are a little bit trickier because there’s no timetable for any of them. What it does point to is that Audi seems to have earmarked this year for all of its premium and performance models. In addition to the R8 V6, 2018 will see the release of the RS5 Coupe, Q8, A6, A7, and A8. All these models are expected to come in next-generation guises, or in the case of the Q8, as an all-new model.
The last and arguably most mysterious of the 2018 batch of releases is the C-BEV. There aren’t a lot of details surrounding this model, but based on that name, it points to a future electric vehicle. Details about this car, as well as a lot of the other models on this road map, should surface in the coming months, or maybe even at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show next week.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Why it matters
Let’s focus on the Audi R8 V6 because that’s really the biggest takeaway from the leaked schedule. You might say that this development is a year in the making ever since the Audi R8’s technical lead, Roland Schala, told Top Gear in February 2015 about what the company’s plans are for the second-generation R8. One of the biggest takeaways from that conversation was the brand’s plan to be more “flexible” with its supercar. At that time, there were no concrete plans of introducing an entry-level V-6 into the equation, but those comments ignited a firestorm of gossip, especially when the company made it clear that it wanted the second-gen R8 to have a more sustainable life span than its predecessor.
People who supported the move to a V-6 engine for the R8 saw it as an incredible opportunity for the car to ingratiate itself to a entirely new market, a market that deemed the old R8’s as too expensive for their budget. A V-6 version not only makes the R8 more affordable, but it also opens the model to a wider market.
Whether Schala was just being coy at that time is irrelevant now. What’s important is that Audi appears to have finally committed itself to launching a V-6 version of the R8. It’s a smart move for the reason I mentioned above. But just as important is that it gives the second-gen R8 a legitimate entry level model that effectively takes the place of the old V-8-powered R8s of the first-generation. Once it arrives, it should create a balance for the entire lineup. The V-6 version would be the starting model while the R8 V10 would serve as the middle ground between the V-6 and the range-topping R8 V10 Plus.
So what can we expect from the R8 V6? It’s too early to tell at this point, but I’m willing to bet that it’s going to come with a pair of turbos and an output of somewhere in the mid-400-horsepower range.
Read our full review on the Audi R8 here.