Awhile back, we learned that Audi and Porsche would be developing engines together, both V6s and V8s, that both brands would share. One of these engines is the 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 currently being used in the brand-new Porsche Panamera. It turns out that this very same V6 could be used in the upcoming entry-level Audi R8.
First, it was rumored that the Audi R8 would gain an entry-level model sporting the 2.5 liter turbocharged I5 engine used in the RS3 and TT RS. Making 400 hp and one of the best engine noises on the planet, that engine does sound exciting in the R8. However, it now seems as if Audi might go in a different direction and use the new twin-turbo V6, for its better potential and newer technology.
One of the reasons that the Audi R8 retained its incredible V10 engine is its naturally-aspirated throttle response and power delivery. Despite how far turbocharged engines have come in recent years, they’ll never have the throttle response of a free-breathing engine. However, with the new engine line, Audi can remedy this.
Much like the newly released Audi SQ7 TDI SUV, Audi could add an electric turbocharger to the V6, which would act as a low-rpm turbo that can add boost at zero rpm. This would eliminate turbo-lag, as it does in the SQ7, and give the R8 that throttle response Audi is looking for. It would require a 48-volt electrical system, also like the SQ7, but without the extra size of the V10, there would be room for it. And this system won’t work with the 2.5 liter five-cylinder engine, so Audi would need to use the newer engine.
If Audi were to add this engine to the R8, it would likely develop at least 450 hp, possibly pushing 500 hp. But don’t expect it to crest 500 hp, as the current Audi R8 V10, not the “Plus” model, makes 540 hp and Audi likely won’t want to step on that car’s toes. We don’t know when this entry-level Audi R8 will hit the market, but expect it in a couple of years.