It’s impossible to read about the Audi R8 and not read some exclamatory remark about its engine. That’s because the engine in question is an astonishing 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 that makes a glorious, spine-tingling noise. So why on Earth would someone take that engine out and replace it with a turbocharged four-cylinder? Hill climb, that’s why.
To qualify for a specific hill climb class, this Audi R8 has had its engine removed and replaced with a bespoke turbocharged four-cylinder engine that, despite not sounding as epic as the car’s original V10, sounds delicious in its own way.
A company called Dialynx Performance is who developed this hill climb Audi R8 and what they’ve done with the engine is really quite interesting. So rather than just slap in a four-cylinder with a turbocharger and dial the boost up to a million (which they ended up doing anyway), they gave it a bespoke four-cylinder engine. So they took the engine block from a VW Group 1.8 liter ALT four-cylinder engine and paired it with the cylinder head of a 16-valve Mk3 VW GTI 1.8 liter four-cylinder engine. Then, they fitted a massive Garrett turbocharger that makes a whopping 30PSI.
According to Dialynx Performance, this Frankenstein engine makes 650 hp, more than even the brand-new Audi R8 V10 Plus. And it sounds like pure motorsport. While it doesn’t the the spine-tingling shriek of the V10, it’s the rough, coarse, rip-snorting noise of a pure motorsport engine that isn’t designed to sound pretty but it sounds awesome.
We don’t know much else about the build (transmission, drivetrain, weight?) but it looks to be a ton of fun. Now we sort of want to see more R8’s have their engines stripped out and given cool, smaller engines. A 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder Audi R8, anyone? Someone make it happen.