Audi is set to introduce a turbocharged V6, shared with the Porsche Panamera in four new performance cars, including a new R8 model
19 March 2018

The Audi R8 is soon to become more affordable thanks to the introduction of a new entry-level variant powered by a V6 engine.

Using a twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 petrol unit, shared with the Porsche Panamera, Audi RS4 and RS5, the model will extend the R8's reach deeper into the sports car segment and effectively fills the void left by Audi’s older, naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 petrol engine.

The six-pot powerplant is a 90deg engine that has been developed in a joint venture by Audi and Porsche as part of a new modular engine family known under the working title KoVoMo.

Audi has not offered a V8 with the Mk2 R8 because of what Ingolstadt officials describe as a combination of the high costs of updating it to meet future emissions standards and concerns in markets such as China, where road tax is linked to engine capacity.

In the latest Panamera 4S, the new V6 engine delivers 434bhp at 5650rpm and 405lb ft of torque between 1750rpm and 5500rpm when running a relatively low 0.4bar of turbocharger boost pressure.

With subtle tweaks, including greater boost, the joint-venture engine is claimed to offer more than 500bhp and up to 500lb ft, although it has yet to be confirmed what output Audi has settled on for its quartet of new performance models. Audi officials have told Autocar that the V6 unit will come with more than one power output.

An example of Audi's desire to extend the R8's reach has come recently with the launch of a rear-wheel drive version of the V10 model, called the R8 RWS. Whether the R8 V6 will adopt a base-level rear-wheel drive version is yet to be revealed; the brand may choose not to offer such a low-cost version to retain a certain level of exclusivity with the R8. The RWS starts at £112,450 suggesting the V6 model could bring the cost well below the £100,000 mark.

Despite sharing a layout and number of cylinders, the new 2.9-litre engine differs in capacity from the slightly larger, 3.0-litre version of the joint-venture V6 recently launched by Audi in the new S4.

Further differentiation is found in the induction system, with the S4’s engine using a single twin-scroll turbocharger and the 2.9-litre version getting twin turbochargers.

The only visual cues to differentiate the V6 model from its V10 sibling, according to the spotted development car, will be smaller exhaust baffles hidden behind the rear grilles. The former has been made possible due to the V6's lower volume.

The most recently spotted test car is running with a V10 (above). The fitment of camouflage on the bumpers suggests the aesthetic changes will be focused there.

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Comments
26

JJ

16 September 2016
How they ended up with 2 engines of such miniscule difference in capacity?

16 September 2016
JJ wrote:

How they ended up with 2 engines of such miniscule difference in capacity?

Different internals I would guess, using the same basic block dimensions.

16 September 2016
Simple answer, Chinese tax rules. V6s have to be below 3.0L to avoid punitive taxes. The old 3.0L V6 will probably disappear.

18 September 2016
DarrenB69 wrote:

Simple answer, Chinese tax rules. V6s have to be below 3.0L to avoid punitive taxes. The old 3.0L V6 will probably disappear.

You've misread the article.

TS7

19 March 2018
DarrenB69 wrote:

Simple answer, Chinese tax rules. V6s have to be below 3.0L to avoid punitive taxes. The old 3.0L V6 will probably disappear.

The old 3.0 is already below 3 litres, it's 2,995cc. The new 2.9 is actually 2,894cc.

20 March 2018

The difference in capacity is due to the EA839 twin turbo charged engine having a strengthened crankshaft vs the EA838 single turbo charged version. The thicker crankshaft results in a slightly reduced stroke. 

5 October 2017

It will be a matter of time the Audi R8 will go the turbocharged way. In this case, will the V10 continue to solder for years? If it does, Audi Sport R8 may have lost its USP. 

de_design2  l  Exclusively Bespoke®

19 March 2018
DdWorks wrote:

It will be a matter of time the Audi R8 will go the turbocharged way. In this case, will the V10 continue to solder for years? If it does, Audi Sport R8 may have lost its USP. 

The USP of the R8 was never its na engine, but just by virtue of it being an aluminium-bodied, all-wheel drive, mid-engined Audi sports car. I think the V6 would make a very sweet R8, assuming it sounds the part.

16 September 2016
While theyre at it they should stick the 4 litre electric turboed V8 diesel in the R8, in the more powerful Bentley tune of course.

XXXX just went POP.

5 October 2017

Why? The market for diesel sports cars was zero even before dieselgate

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