Audi R8 Turbo in the Works

Audi’s top supercar will be adopting a turbocharged engine. 

“It is inevitable that we will go to a turbocharged motor for it at some point,” said Ulrich Hackenberg, head of Audi’s Technical Development. “It would be in this model cycle, to give us a fuller range.”

The 2016 R8 just launched in Europe with a single engine option, a 5.2-liter V10 available with either 540 hp or 610 hp. Adding the turbocharged option will provide the R8 with a new base motor, rather than replacing the naturally aspirated mill.

“It’s quite unique to build naturally aspirated engines today and our customers love it,” said Hackenberg. “It doesn’t mean we are not going to do a turbo, but naturally aspirated is here to stay as well.”

SEE ALSO: Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Technology Concept Boasts 600 HP

A new turbocharged V6 being developed for the RS4 could work as an entry-level option in the R8, though a turbo inline five-cylinder that has been rumored in the past is a likely choice. “As a configuration, it’s got such a rich history with the Audi brand and there is no sound more ‘Audi’ than the five-cylinder motor in the RS3,” said Audi Quattro boss Heinz Peter Hollerweger. “It would have more than enough power and torque for the R8, and it’s lighter, too, so it would package well, but we will see…”

Recently, Audi showed a new five-cylinder engine in the TT Clubsport Concept, which uses a turbocharger and electrically driven supercharger to crank out 600 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque.


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