There’s long been rumors of an entry-level variant of the brand-new Audi R8, sporting a turbocharged V6 engine, in part to compete with the Porsche 911 Carrera S and Mercedes-AMG GT and also to work with strict Chinese emissions. Audi shot down those rumors late last year, but there’s some new evidence to suggest that those denials were smokescreens and that an Audi R8 V6 is actually in the works.
An image has recently leaked of a product map, mapping out future launches of Audi vehicles for 2017 and 2018. Featured on the map for 2017 are many cars that we expected, such as the Audi A5/S5, R8 Spyder and Q5/SQ5. However, it’s 2018 where things get really interested and there’s a few cars on there that were unexpected. For instance, there’s a car simply dubbed “C-BEV”, which will clearly be some sort of Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), but we don’t know anything aside from that.
But the big news is with the Audi R8 V6 that happens to be planned for a 2018 release. This shows that there will be a new entry-level variant of the R8, though we’re not sure if all markets will get it. Most of the reason for such an entry-level R8 is the Chinese market’s strict new emissions laws, so it might be the only market to receive the Audi R8 V6. However, if it does end up coming to other markets, it could compete with Porsche 911s in both price and performance.
There’s also more big news. It seems as if there’s an Audi Q8 on the way as well, in 2018, proving Audi will be making a new flagship SUV that will be larger and more luxurious than the Q7. This is likely to compete with the Mercedes-Benz GLS Class and the upcoming BMW X7.
These are some very interesting developments and we’re hoping to here more from Audi soon. We will likely get some more information at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in March.