In spite of recent news that Audi may not be building a successor to the current R8, a new report suggests that the current car’s imminent facelift will come with a cheaper, smaller-engined model.
According to Autocar, Audi is preparing to stick a 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V-6 in the middle of the R8 along with tweaks to the supercar’s exterior. Also found in Audi’s RS5, the RS4 not sold in America, as well as the Porsche Panamera, the six-pot here produces around 440 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. As of right now, the R8 exclusively comes with a 5.2-liter, naturally-aspirated V-10 making 540 horses or 610 in the upmarket Plus guise.
Just like the V-10 unit, the British auto publication reports that the V-6 will come with multiple power configurations. Around 440 horsepower in the base model and close to 500 ponies in a “V-6 Plus” sounds like a pretty good guess.
Audi historians will note that the original R8’s “entry-level” variant rocked a naturally-aspirated, 4.2-liter V-8, an option that’s been missing from the current car’s spec sheet since it came out in 2015. According to “Ingolstadt officials” speaking to Autocar, an eight-cylinder R8 hasn’t been a thing (and likely won’t be) thanks to tightening emissions regulations and the challenge of trying to sell it in the oh-so-important Chinese market, where cars with more than 4 liters of displacement are hit with a hefty road tax.
Autocar projects the V-6 R8 to get a starting price of less than $140,000 which would put it in direct competition with Porsche 911 variants GTS-and-under.
We’ve reached out to Audi for further comment and will update this story if we hear back. The current, V-10-equipped 2018 Audi R8 starts at $164,900.