With the second-gen Audi R8 turning 4 this year, talks are already underway for its successor. Previous reports have indicated a shift towards electrification, more specifically a battery-electric powertrain, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will drop the V10 completely.
In fact, after speaking to the Audi Sport’s managing director Oliver Hoffman, during the Nurburgring 24 Hours race, Autocar learned that the ten-cylinder mill has many high-placed supporters within the four-ring brand, who want to see it live on.
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“The V10 is an icon, and a USP within the segment”, said Hoffman. “With the current R8, our customers love this car. We are fighting for the V10, but [for the next-gen] it’s more or less a question of ICE or electrification, and which kind of engine is useful for it.”
The exec’s statement is backed up by the fact that Lamborghini is thought to remain committed to offering a V10 in the successor of the Huracan. The Italian supercar is a sister model to the R8, and one scenario points out to the usage of the power unit in limited-run variants of Audi’s next flagship vehicle.
“Lamborghini has to have a naturally aspirated engine, no other brand stands for NA like Lamborghini. We are working very close with the guys from Sant’Agata. The only way to develop such kinds of cars is to share the cost for development work and to have a very, very tough platform strategy”, added Hoffman. “The Lamborghini Huracan is based on the R8 platform, and this helps us – together with Lamborghini, with Porsche, with all the sporty brands in our group – to share the development costs.”
With the third-gen R8 said to be three years away, Audi ants to kick things up a notch by launching a more extreme version of the outgoing model. The rumored track-focused model could get a rear-wheel drive setup and some of the aerodynamics of the GT3 racer, in an attempt to mine the road for the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT (R) Black Series.