VIDEO: Is the First-Gen Audi R8 V10 Engine Actually a Lamborghini Engine?

It’s almost universally assumed, among car enthusiasts, that the 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 engine from the original Audi R8 is actually a Lamborghini engine. That’s because Audi bought Lamborghini prior to the reveal of that engine and the Gallardo also had a V10 engine. However, this new video from Jay Emm breaks down the differences between the two cars’ engines and why the 5.2 liter engine is actually an Audi engine.


The Lamborghini Gallardo actually originally came with a 5.0 liter V10 but was then bumped to a 5.2 liter V10 after the R8 launched with it. Due to the timing, and the fact that the Gallardo was the original V10-powered car, fans assumed that Lamborghini just increased the 5.0 liter’s displacement and the engine was stuck in both cars. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Audi’s V10 engine in the R8 was actually developed by Audi and built in Neckarsulm, making it an Audi engine. It was also designed after the Gallardo’s 5.0 liter V10, so the two don’t share a timeline. When the Gallardo upgraded to a 5.2 liter, it actually borrowed Audi’s engine.


The 5.0 liter V10 in the Gallardo also wasn’t even kind of similar to the 5.2 liter V10 in the Audi R8. They had different pistons, connecting rods, rod pins, and rod bearings. They also had different crankshafts, a different firing order, different intake plenums, throttle bodies, and even cylinder heads. Audi’s engine was also direct injected, while the Gallardo’s was port injected. The only real similarity between the two was their cylinder count.

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Audi’s engine is also a bit more reliable, easier to work on, and, in some instances, a bit cheaper to work on. The Lamborghini Gallardo is an awesome car but there are a lot of things that need to be done to it if you’re buying one second hand and that’s even before something goes wrong. If it were our money, we’d take the Audi R8 but if you do decided to grab a cheap Gallardo (which we couldn’t blame you for doing) check out this video to see what you need to do. Also, you’ll be able to school your friends at the bar about which engine is which.


CategoriesR8 Video
Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.