It's the 2.9-liter V6 of the new RS4 and RS5.
The future of Audi’s R8 supercar is not bright, at least according to recent reports. The V10 beast might be phased out at the end of the current generation’s lifecycle, as Audi is continuously switching its focus towards electrified cars. This will likely happen in 2020, or a year or two later, when the platform-sharing Lamborghini Huracan will morph into a next generation.
Wait, did we say a V10 supercar? Yes, currently the R8 is offered exclusively with a 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10 in several power outputs. But the Ingolstadt-based automaker wants to fill the gap left by the previous entry-level 4.2-liter V8 by introducing a biturbo V6 unit with the facelifted version of the supercar. This is rumored to happen during the New York Auto Show next week.
According to different sources, the motor in question is the 2.9-liter V6, also used by the new RS4 and RS5, as well as the Porsche Panamera. Audi Sport’s engineers will retune the engine to deliver about 500 horsepower (373 kilowatts) in its top version, while a lesser variant is also in the cards.
The 2.9-liter engine shares a number of components with the 3.0-liter V6, found in the new S4, but the induction systems are vastly different – the S4’s unit uses a single twin-scroll turbocharger, while the 2.9 V6 relies on twin turbochargers.
The latest addition to the R8’s lineup is the limited-run R8 RWS, which is 110 pounds (50 kilograms) lighter than the standard model and has a better weight distribution (41:59 to 44:56) thanks to the removal of the Quattro system. Without it, the V10 engine sends all the power to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic gearbox. Despite the reduced traction, acceleration times for the Coupe and Spyder are only 0.2 seconds down compared to the AWD versions.