No, you won’t see a budget R8 with a V-6 anytime soon

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After years of rumors regarding an entry-level R8 model fitted with a smaller turbocharged engine, we now know for a fact that Audi’s fledging supercar will only be available with the naturally-aspirated V-10 that we’re all familiar with.

Ever since a leaked image supposedly showcasing Audi’s release schedule over the next couple of years hit the internet, people have been talking about the possibility of a more affordable model to complete the range. Since the arrival of the second-generation R8, back in 2015, Audi dropped the V-8 engine option the R8 originally had at its core.

Now, with most manufacturers choosing forced induction to minimize the size of their engines and the number of cylinders, the R8 would have been a likely suspect of receiving this treatment in the near future.

Wanted a turbocharged R8? It’s not going to happen

The Audi R8 set to stick with V-10 power Exterior
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When the Audi R8 was first launched, over a decade ago, it came with the 4.2-liter V-8 engine taken from the Audi RS4 sedan. It offered 420 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque - a decent amount at the time, but the need for more performance saw Audi introduce a 5.2-liter V-10 unit in 2008.

Now, here we are in 2018 and the R8, which has since transitioned to its second generation, is still powered by the naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V-10.

But back in 2016, a leaked image that was shared across the Web showed Audi’s upcoming models and their model names. Most of them have been revealed since then Take, for instance, the RS5 Coupe, the Q8, or the E-BEV which saw the light of day as the E-Tron. But Audi never came through with one model: the R8 V6. Supposedly, that V-6 could’ve been offered with the 2.9-liter that we see under the hood of the RS4 Avant, RS5, and even the Porsche Panamera.

The Audi R8 set to stick with V-10 power Exterior
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We expected to hear more about the car when the German manufacturer finally unveiled the facelifted R8, a few weeks ago, but all we got was radio silence. Finally, we can tell you why that is: because there won’t be any V-6-powered R8 until 2020 when the production cycle of the second-generation R8 will end.

Car Throttle talked to Bjorn Friedrich, the R8’s program manager, at the launch of the restyled R8, and he confirmed that a smaller engine won’t arrive since" the V-10 is the best engine for the car… We’ll stick to the V10."

With Audi also not planning to introduce a third-generation R8 after the current generation goes out of production in two year's time, it means we won't get a turbocharged supercar from the brand with the four rings.

We also don’t know if we’ll get a RWD version of the facelifted R8 akin to the RWS special edition launched this year, but we hope that’s the case. And we hope that the R8 moniker will go on, even if it will grace the body of an electric model similar to the PB18 concept.

The Audi R8 set to stick with V-10 power Exterior
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Until then, though, we should enjoy the N/A R8 as much as we can. After all, how many production cars with a V-10 can you name? This one produces 564 horsepower under the hood of the standard version while the Plus model pumps out 613 horsepower, enough for a sprint to 62 mph in 3.1 seconds. With Dynamic Steering, a variety of engine modes, a smart ESC and many other gizmos, the R8 is a brilliant car, and the facelift didn’t ruin its pretty appearance.

2019 Audi R8 V-10 Performance Specifications

Audi R8 V10 Audi R8 V10 Plus
Type 5.2 FSI V-10 5.2 FSI V-10
Output 570 HP 620 HP
Torque 406 LB-FT 428 LB-FT
0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) 3.5 Seconds 3.1 Seconds
Top Speed 201 MPH 205 MPH

Further reading

2019 Audi R8 Exterior Spyshots
- image 783375

Read our full review on the 2020 Audi R8.

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 High Resolution Exterior
- image 420832

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi R8.

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Spyder High Resolution Exterior
- image 670350

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder.

2011 Audi R8 GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 374873

Read our full review on the 2011 Audi R8 GT.

2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus High Resolution Exterior
- image 720053

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus.

Audi Makes a Move to Please Purists with the Audi R8 V-10 RWS: RWD Performance at its Finest High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 730575

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS.

Source: Motor1

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert -
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
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