If we’re not getting a next-gen model, might as well get a new trim level...

While the future of the next-generation Audi R8 is in question, the current version of the supercar is getting a major update soon, and it’s packing a number of major changes. One of the biggest changes is the addition of a new entry-level version, one that will be powered by a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine. Incidentally, this is the same powertrain that’s currently being used by the Audi RS4, RS5, and the Porsche Panamera.

The Audi R8's Facelift will Include a New Entry-Level Model with the Same 2.9-liter V-6 Found in the Porsche Panamera and Audi RS5
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If this does end up being the R8’s last hurrah, Audi is doing a decent job in making the supercar more affordable to the masses.

If this does end up being the R8’s last hurrah, Audi is doing a decent job in making the supercar more affordable to the masses. Putting a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 in the R8 isn’t just about offering a new version of the supercar to consumers, it’s also giving more opportunities for those who can’t afford the V-10 models to get their hands on an R8.

A new V-6 unit is also an interesting turn of events for a car whose current generation has exclusively used V-10 engines. Remember, Audi offered the first-generation R8 with a V-8 engine, but that option was removed for the second-gen model because of what Audi execs described as a combination of high costs of updating it to meet future emissions standards and concerns in markets where road tax is tied into a car’s engine capacity. But, now that the future of the R8 is in doubt, Audi appears to be giving the facelifted model one last hurrah with a V-6 version, stretching it deeper into the sports car segment where more potential customers await.

The Audi R8's Facelift will Include a New Entry-Level Model with the Same 2.9-liter V-6 Found in the Porsche Panamera and Audi RS5
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If the V-6 engine, which Audi co-developed with Porsche, does become a reality for the facelifted R8, expect it to carry more power compared to the 434-horsepower and 405-output of the Porsche Panamera 4S

If the V-6 engine, which Audi co-developed with Porsche, does become a reality for the facelifted R8, expect it to carry more power compared to the 434-horsepower and 405-output of the Porsche Panamera 4S. The R8’s status as a sports car means that with a few subtle tweaks, including the possibility of improved boost, it could generate output in the vicinity of 500 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque, enough to solidify its presence in a sports car segment where rivals like the Jaguar F-Type and Mercedes-AMG GT await. Chalk that up as a possibility since Audi execs have told Autocar that the V-6 engine will come with more than one power output, opening the door for a lot of possibilities as it relates to a V-6-powered Audi R8.

It’s still unclear why Audi is reportedly heading down this path, but it could be tied into the future of the R8 now that there are questions on whether a next-gen model is in the works. Remember, Audi also just launched a rear-wheel drive version of the V10 model, called the R8 RWS, which could be another sign that the German automaker is giving the people more variety of the German sports car to expand its reach before eventually heading into the sunset. The launch of a V-6 version also plays into that thinking.

The Audi R8's Facelift will Include a New Entry-Level Model with the Same 2.9-liter V-6 Found in the Porsche Panamera and Audi RS5
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Regardless of what happens, the R8’s days are actually numbered

Regardless of what happens, it’s becoming clear that, if the R8’s days are actually numbered, Audi is doing its part to make sure that it goes out with a bang.

References

Audi R8

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Audi R8.

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Spyder High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder.

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Read more Audi news.

Source: Autocar

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