New Audi R8 Could Spawn Rear-Wheel Drive And V6 Variants

Audi has already shared some crucial details on the new R8 ahead of its Geneva Motor Show debut. We know it will have a choice of either a 540 horsepower V10 or 610 horsepower V10, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive, but what else could be in store for the four-rings’ supercar?

According to Top Gear, Audi has multiple model variants of the next-gen R8 in the pipeline. Technical designer for the car, Roland Schala, said the R8’s new platform is “flexible” and could support “Superleggera, or GT, or Clubsport,” versions of the car.

Schala also said the V10 engines to be available in the R8 at launch won’t appease all customers and recognized the need for a smaller engine option. The 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 used in the Audi S6 seems like the most likely eight-cylinder candidate , however Schala didn’t rule out the possibility of a V6.

“The V6 is a perfect engine for this kind of car. We have a lot of potential with the V6, from 400bhp upwards, so it’s possible,” Schala hinted.

Audi didn’t rule out a diesel R8 either, however the extra weight associated with oil-burning engines may kill the idea off before it can come to fruition. Schala also said the immense torque produced by a diesel engine means drivers have to change gear less, which doesn’t line up with the spirited driving experience engineers envision for the R8.

A plug-in hybrid R8 may also be on its way, but not anytime soon. Audi is currently concentrating on the high-revving naturally aspirated V10 engine, and may save the hybrid/electric powertrains for its performance saloon cars.

“With this chassis it’s possible to add a plug-in hybrid, and we have a lot of knowledge in Audi AG. We have the next stage of battery tech with a range of just over 300 miles. Again, though, the question is whether the customer wants this in a sports car or a saloon.”

We can’t wait to see what special models the second-generation R8 spawns, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The standard V10 model has yet to break cover, so we’re on stand by until the Geneva Motor Show rolls around in March.

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