Report: Next Audi R8 Could Have Turbo Engine

March 7, 2014
2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus Three Quarters Side View
Get ready for an Audi R8 with an engine smaller than the current V-8 or V-10, according to Audi technical development head Ulrich Hackenberg. Autocar reports that Hackenberg is open to the possibility of a downsized, turbocharged engine for the next-generation Audi R8 that debuts in 2015.
Hackenberg told Autocar that the Audi R8, "will need a turbocharged engine," because, "In some countries, you need to reduce the capacity of engines and we need to find solutions for these markets… It's a big step from 10 cylinders to four though -- there are some numbers in between that we could look at."
Currently, the 2014 Audi R8 is offered with either a 4.2-liter V-8 or a 5.2-liter V-10 engine. A version of the 5.2-liter is also employed in the Lamborghini Huracán, which is closely related to the next-generation Audi R8 -- just as today's R8 is a sibling to the discontinued Lamborghini Gallardo.
Hackenberg confirmed that the new Audi R8 will continue to share many parts with the Lamborghini, including its V-10 engine and dual-clutch transmission, carbon-fiber firewall and center tunnel, and a structure that is made primarily from aluminum. Compared to the Huracán, the Audi R8 will be wider and will have a longer wheelbase, and, "The suspension layout and geometry is different so we can tune different characteristics."
Production of the next Audi R8 is expected to begin this year at a newly finished plant in Neckarsulm, Germany. We previously reported that the new Audi R8 will be lighter than today's model, and will ride on the new MSB-M modular platform that is shared with the Huracán. Along with the V-10, we expect the V-8 engine to remain, with the potential smaller turbo engine slotting in below these two powertrains. A dual-clutch transmission will be standard, as Hackenberg indicated the new R8 will not continue to offer a six-speed manual transmission. Pricing for the current 2014 Audi R8 (pictured) ranges from $119,150 to $183,895, including destination and gas-guzzler charges.

Plug-In Rejuvenated

Hackenberg also confirmed to Autocar that work on an Audi R8 e-tron plug-in model (pictured above) has been restarted. The R8 e-tron was at one point canceled, but earlier this year reports indicated that Audi had overcome several development issues and would continue with the program. The Audi R8 e-tron was originally axed because the battery technology used was reportedly too expensive and didn't give an adequate driving range. A decision on whether and when the car will go into production is expected soon.
"It was cancelled due to the range and a business case," Hackenberg told Autocar. "We've sorted out the range -- now more than 450km [280 miles] -- and improved all the running gear for efficiency."

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