A new report states Audi’s quattro division plans to retire the manual gearbox and naturally aspirated V8 engines. Speaking at the launch of the second generation R8 at Estoril track, the top brass at quattro Heinz Hollerweger signaled the demise of the manual gearbox which won’t make a return in the R8 or the forthcoming TT RS. The previous generations of these two models were the last cars to have a manual transmission.
While the new R8 has a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox called “DL800”, the next TT RS will utilize a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission known as “DQ500”.
Aside from announcing the manual gearbox’s death, Heinz Hollerweger also said the naturally aspirated V8 engine is a dying breed as the next generation RS4 and RS5 won’t have it anymore while a future entry-level R8 version will embrace turbocharging. The old R8 had a V8 4.2-liter naturally aspirated engine but that won’t be offered on the new model which is currently available exclusively with a V10 5.2-liter NA unit.
The identity of the engine set to power the base R8 is not known at this point, but reports suggest it will be a 5-cylinder turbo from the RS3 and the upcoming TT RS while some other voices are saying the car will be powered by a brand new twin-turbo V6. Regardless of the type of the engine, reports are indicating its displacement will stand at less than 3.0 liters.