Audi Sport fighting to keep the V10-powered Audi R8 alive

It’s long been rumored that the Audi R8 is on its way out, that this second-generation will be the last. However, we’re now hearing that not only might the R8 see a third generation but that it might also get another V10.

The current 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 used in the Audi R8 is a brilliant engine. It makes a sensational noise, it has a perfectly linear powerband and its performance levels are epic. However, growing emissions regulations and slow sales have caused Audi to rethink the R8’s future. Thankfully, there’s some thinking that the R8 deserves a third go and that it should keep its V10.

“The V10 is an icon, and a USP within the segment,” Audi Sport boss Oliver Hoffman told Autocar. “With the current R8, our customers love this car. We are fighting for the V10, but [for the next-generation] it’s more or less a question of ICE [internal combustion engine] or electrification, and which kind of engine is useful for it.”

We’ve long heard that the next-generation Audi R8 would actually become all-electric to stay alive, and then would go by a different name. So it seems that Audi Sport certainly wants to make another R8, it just comes down to whether or not it will use another V10 or electric motors.

One of the benefits Audi now has is its e-tron brand. With the four-ringed brand pumping out EV after EV, along with more and more plug-in hybrids, it will have a very low overall emissions rating. So it will have the chance to also develop another free-breathing V10 supercar. It also has the benefit of being partners with Lamborghini. The Italian supercar brand has already stated that it’s committed to the naturally-aspirated V10 engine. So Sant’Agata’s continued use can help Audi keep development costs low for the V10, focusing more R&D on electrification, and just borrow the V10 tech from Lamborghini.

“We are working very close with the guys from Sant’Agata. The only way to develop such kinds of cars is to share the cost for development work and to have a very, very tough platform strategy.” said Hoffman.

This is good news, as it means there’s a chance for another Audi R8 V10. Hopefully, that doesn’t slow down the arrival of an all-electric supercar, as something like a production PB18 e-tron would also be amazing. Though, we’re never going to complain about more V10-powered supercars, no matter how much they slow down EV development.

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.