Over the past few decades, Audi has made some astonishing engines of all kinds. Its most famous is its iconic five-cylinders, which powered cars from the original Ur Quattro all the way up to the new RS3. However, one of the brand’s more recent icons is actually the V10 engine from the Audi R8. In this new video from JayEmm, we take a look at that very V10 engine to see why it’s so special.
Many fans think the 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 from the Audi R8 is actually a Lamborghini engine. The reason behind that thinking is that Audi bought Lamborghini just before the release of the Gallardo, which had a 5.0 liter V10. A few years after that, Audi developed the R8 and gave it a V10 but it was entirely Audi-made. What causes the confusion is that the Gallardo was also upgraded to the same V10 engine.
So it’s not the Audi R8 that has a Lamborghini engine but the Gallardo that has an Audi engine. Does that give the Audi R8 more or less street-cred? Well, once you learn about the R8 engine’s internals, it might actually give both the R8 and Lamborghini more street-cred because it’s an astonishingly well engineered motor.
Most high-revving engines are what’s called over-square, meaning the ratio between its bore (diameter of the piston) and its stroke (how far up and down the piston travels) leans more toward the former. High-revving engines don’t typically have long piston stroke. However, the R8’s 5.2 liter V10 isn’t over-square, it’s actually under-square. Like a muscle-car V8, the Audi V10, on paper at least, is built for low-end torque and not high-rpm revving.
What makes that so interesting is that it does rev incredibly high, past 8,000 rpm, in fact. Not only does it rev high but it gets there quickly. It’s an incredibly responsive, fast-revving V10 and it does that with an engine configuration not typically designed for such things.
As JayEmm explains in this video, the Audi R8’s V10 engine revs harder and faster than even cars like the iconic, high-revving Honda S2000, with its motorcycle-like engine. In fact, the R8’s pistons move at a higher rate of speed than the S2000’s, which is remarkable considering their size and stroke. That means that the R8’s engine is far more durable and well built than most enthusiasts give it credit for.
So it’s not just a very powerful, incredible sounding engine. It’s also one that’s been engineered to an almost ridiculously high standard. Next time anyone tells you that the R8 uses a Lamborghini V10, correct them by letting them know it’s actually the other way around.