Is something grand coming from Audi in the waning days of internal-combustion performance? There's a fresh rumor of the R8 gaining an RS badge as a swan song to the series, called the V10 Performance RS Final Edition. It could pack a 650-horsepower (485-kilowatt) punch, and we might see it by the end of this year.
It must be noted that this is an unconfirmed rumor at this point. A recent post from TheSupercarBlog claims to have inside information on the R8, though a specific source for the info isn't known. Motor1.com contacted Audi seeking comment on the report, with a spokesperson stating there is no information available for any R8 models not currently available in the lineup. It's certainly not a confirmation, but it's not a denial, either.
Gallery: Audi R8 RWD Spy Photos
The R8 RS Final Edition is a rumor for now, but it's not without some merit. In January, our spy photographers captured an R8 testing in Sweden and it was ... different. The car wore no camouflage and didn't have notable design changes, but it was awash with winglets and other aerodynamic tidbits. A massive rear wing with Audi branding sat on the tail. The front lip spoiler was a bit bigger. Curiously, the latest rumor does mention aero upgrades as part of the RS Final Edition, in addition to power. Speaking of which, the prototype appeared to have wires running from the engine bay to the interior, perhaps gathering information on the V10.
Add it all up, and there's certainly a strong case to be made for something grand in the R8's near future. Whether it will be 650 hp remains to be seen, as that would be a notable upgrade from the 602 hp (449 kW) currently offered in the V10 Performance. It would also best the Lamborghini Huracan STO and recently announced Huracan Tecnica, which uses the same V10 to develop 631 hp (471 kW). Of course, the Huracan and R8 have been linked since the very beginning, sharing platforms and powertrains. Would Lamborghini be content to let the R8 have a power advantage for its final hurrah?
Possibly, but who says the Huracan won't go out with some grand final edition of its own?