False alarm, folks. Next week’s New York Auto Show apparently won’t be the venue where Audi is going to introduce an entry-level R8 powered by a biturbo 2.9-liter V6 engine. Even though rumors have been swirling around the World Wide Web for literally years, it’s not going to happen. The reveal was made by a company spokesman in an interview with Road and Track. Simply put, “there is no V6 planned for the R8.”
In recent years, Audi did hint about the possibility of installing the company’s new V6 (you’ll find in the RS5 Coupe and RS4 Avant) in a cheaper R8 slotting underneath the V10 version. In fact, an alleged official roadmap emerged onto the web more than two years ago to show the V6-powered R8 would be launched in 2018.
There’s a good chance a V6 version of the supercar was indeed on the agenda, but ultimately Audi decided to keep the 540-hp V10 model as the base version of its mid-engined supercar. Following the launch of the rear-wheel-drive RWS, spy shots (attached below) have shown a refresh is being planned and it might come along with a hardcore GT version. A prototype was spotted in October 2017 and had massive oval exhaust tips like the GT Coupe and Spyder limited edition variants belonging to the original R8.
Audi has said that while the current R8 still has plenty of life in it, the future looks bleak as a third generation is not being considered at this moment. With Audi Sport shifting focus towards SUVs like the RS Q5 and the RS Q8 while working on performance EVs such as the E-Tron GT, it looks like the naturally aspirated machine does not rank high on the list of priorities.
Source: Audi via Road and Track