- Image: Audi

The next Audi R8 could have a truly monstrous powerplant

We're not quite sure what that powerplant will be, though...

5w ago

With its crazy naturally-aspirated V10, the Audi R8 is one of the last of a dying breed of supercars. It, along with its Lamborghini Huracan brethren, has stuck with that formula whilst other manufacturers have turned to turbocharging and hybridisation to achieve the levels of power required for proper supercar performance. The R8 will eventually have to catch up with the times though if Audi wants to keep having a supercar in its lineup. According to a report from Auto Bild, Audi already has this well under consideration. The Audi R8 could be replaced as soon as 2024 and, if Auto Bild's report is to be believed, its powerplant could be truly monstrous...

Auto Bild reckons that the next-generation Audi R8 will have a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged internal combustion engine, likely to be one shared with other Volkswagen Group performance cars such as the Lamborghini Urus. The report also says that the new R8's powertrain will have some form of electric assist. By adding electrification to the R8, the total power output could go up to as high as 700 hp. Considering that the top of the range V10 Performance Quattro model produces 602 hp, that would be a huge step up in power!

Is this the last time we'll see a V10 engine, or even an internal combustion engine at all, in an Audi R8? (Image: Audi)

Is this the last time we'll see a V10 engine, or even an internal combustion engine at all, in an Audi R8? (Image: Audi)

It may not be a popular change, though. Turbocharging the R8 would change its high-revving characteristics as a naturally-aspirated V10. We'd also lose that glorious V10 wail, especially from those R8s that have had an aftermarket exhaust system fitted to make them sound like old-school F1 cars. Introducing hybridisation would also increase the weight of the car, changing its handling and potentially dulling the driving experience. It's something that might make more traditionalist enthusiasts long for the days of the old V10 engine, or even mourn the total death of naturally-aspirated supercars. If it's true, people certainly won't go quietly about it...

If you thought that the potential of Audi turning the R8 into a turbo hybrid was controversial enough, there have also been murmurings that Audi is considering making the next version of the R8 fully electric! Audi boss Markus Duesmann already said earlier this year that the R8 does have the potential to become an electric supercar. Whilst he did admit that making the R8 electric "wasn't the original idea", he did say that "it could make sense. We could do it if we wanted to." It's not like it hasn't already been done, either; Audi did produce an R8 e-tron on the quiet several years ago! Whilst production numbers weren't commented on at the time, an Audi representative told Car & Driver that "fewer than 100" were built. Clearly, Audi didn't think electric was the right way to go for the R8 at the time...

Regardless of whether it's powered by a turbo hybrid or a fully electric drivetrain, it's pretty clear that the Audi R8 is here to stay and Audi is willing to do the necessary changes to keep it in line with the times. Will those changes make subsequent R8s still as good as the first two iterations of the model? That'll be down to a matter of personal opinion.

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Comments (5)

  • I’m not a huge fan of electric cars but they have their place. I’m not sure that Audi will make a hybrid V8, rather go full electric or even smaller petrol than the V8 as legislation will dictate what will happen. Additionally they’ll have to position below Lamborghini within VAG.

      1 month ago
  • can we just ban the eu , the treehuggers, tesla, greta thunberg , elon musk off this planet ?

      1 month ago
  • The R8 hasn't ever been the fastest, best looking or offered the most bang for your buck. But what it has got is that engine, unrivalled in its price range for theatre and noise. If that were to go it'd blend into the crowd a little too much, and that'd be quite sad.

      1 month ago
  • With Herbert Diess in crisis talks to get VAG out of the previous century and into this one, even inviting Elon Musk to speak to his management team to explain how it's done, This is likely the last chance to buy a really powerful ICE Audi supercar. Whether that's a wise choice of purchase is very much to do with whom you are and your circumstances. Stuff like this will drop through the ceiling in value once the full electric version is introduced in a year or two. Legacy auto-makers aren't leading the way any longer, no matter how much you might be dismayed by the idea. Manufacturers from all over the world, most notably China and Tesla, already have products that easily match what this new Audi will manage in the real world, yet for less cash and vastly better resale once you've had your fun in them. I'm fully aware how unimpressed so many followers of DriveTribe are with my views, however I only report what is already going on by and large. Any extrapolations I make are only my adjudged views, and time will tell if they're all bollox or not. My record thus far has been fairly good. As I said, Diess is forcing VAG into the new age because if he doesn't, VAG will fizzle out and die as an independent manufacturer, just as GM, Stelantis, even Ford, are all in the same situation. They are legacy engineering businesses that assemble vehicles out of bought-in parts for everything except the body-in-white. Their business model is no longer relevant and if followed will result in bankruptcy, either quickly or a slower death by government support until it's obvious they are a black hole. Which is why this new Audi will probably be a last hurrah of the ICE age VAG supercar. Long reason, short answer.

      1 month ago
  • I would love a hybrid turbo 5 cylinder 😅😍 smaller engine, but keeping the sound 😂

      1 month ago