Recent rumors have been spreading around of Audi releasing a turbocharged version of its R8 supercar later on down its life cycle. The reason for this was to offer an entry-level version as well as lowering the taxes on the R8 in certain markets, like the Chinese market. But according to Jürgen Königstedt, Audi’s development boss for V6, V8 and V10 engines, “The performance potential of this current engine means we don’t need to even look at turbocharging at this point,”. He also goes on to say that turbocharged engines don’t give the response and emotion Audi was looking for in the R8.
Königstedt did say that turbocharging was discussed during the development of the Audi R8, however the idea was squashed. “If we feel that people absolutely want a turbocharged engine, then we will have to consider it,”. We recently talked about the possibilities of turbocharging the Audi R8 and giving it an entry-level model to compete with the likes of the Porsche 911, but the idea of such a car didn’t sit well with fans and clearly not with Audi execs either.
The current, Lamborghini-derived, 5.2 liter V10 is a masterpiece of an engine. One with incredible throttle response, a magnificent sound and excellent power. While it isn’t the most fuel efficient engine around (it’s quite terrible on gas, actually) it doesn’t matter. No one is buying a $200,000 supercar to save money on petrol, to be brutally honest. So it’s understandable that a turbocharged engine can be axed so that the Audi R8 can have the power, throttle response and emotion Audi is looking for.
While certain turbocharged engines did sound intriguing in the Audi R8, like the upcoming twin-turbocharged V6 in the upcoming Audi RS4 or the turbocharged 2.5 liter five-cylinder in the Audi RS3 Sportback, none of those would give the same response and sound as the V10. While the idea of having an electric turbocharger fitted would cut down on turbo lag completely, it still wouldn’t give the experience Audi was looking for. So ultimately, the turbo Audi R8 has been squashed. Long live the V10.