The entry point to the Audi R8 range looks set to make a move to forced induction, shifting away from the previous model’s naturally aspirated 4.2 litre V8 and adopting a version of the twin turbo 3.0 litre V6 as seen in the recently revealed S4.
The move would also spell an end to a V8-powered model entirely, with the V6 set to jump from 260kW as seen in the S4 to a figure closer to 330kW, eclipsing the current 316kW 4.2 litre V8.
With the regular R8 V10 rated at 397kW, the need for an interim step in the powertrain chain becomes unlikely, with Audi’s newer turbocharged V8 family coming uncomfortably close to the R8 V10.
The move to a V6 engine also puts to rest rumours that the entry model R8 would rely on a version of the RS 3’s 2.5 litre in-line five-cylinder engine. Audi insiders claim that using the same engine in the TT RS and R8 could create some internal competition.
As with the R8 V10, the entry-level model, likely to be simply called R8, (without any mention of engine size or cylinder count) will retain all-wheel-drive and be driven via the V10’s seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
Release timing will see the R8 V6 arrive some time during 2018, to provide a boost to sales at the point V10 sales are expected to drop off. The V6 model’s timing means it will likely bring a light refresh with it when it arrives.
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