Ingolstadt’s forthcoming RS8 to get a naturally aspirated, 500bhp V10
4 December 2007

Audi’s RS version of the new R8 sports car won’t get the firm’s 572bhp twin-turbocharged V10 engine, as seen in the new RS6, but a new normally aspirated V10 that will run cooler than the turbo, and provide the mid-engined model with around 500bhp, and a top speed of more than 200mph.

The admission has come from Audi’s Quattro GmbH director Werner Frowein. When questioned by members of the Swedish motoring press, he admitted that the three R8 prototypes that caught fire during performance testing at the Nordschleife last year were running the blown V10 engine, and simply overheated under extreme performance conditions.

"The 580hp strong V10 will not be making it into the RS8,” said Frowein. “Instead we are currently working on a ten-cylinder with just over 500hp for the car."

So does that mean the car will use a more highly strung version of the standard S6’s 429bhp V10? It’s highly likely. The alternative would be for Audi to add another two cylinders to the standard R8’s 4.2-litre V8, but developing two separate V10 engines is expected to be ruled out for cost reasons.

Audi insiders have suggested that the RS8 will emerge earlier than is normal for an RS-badged version of an Audi model. Ingolstadt normally waits until the last few years of a model’s lifecycle to release the hottest model in the range, a tactic that buoys interest in the car, but in the R8’s case it’s expected to make an exception.

For that reason, we’d expect it to be on sale well before the end of the decade, but after the launch of the R8 Convertible.

Our Verdict

Audi R8 V8

It may not have a posh badge, but when it comes to what really matters the R8 has what it takes to hold its head high among supercar rivals

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4 December 2007

Interesting. I think the fitment of the standard V10 is a mistake. Why do Audi have to go the linear-but-explosive V10 turbo route? Why be so predictable? Why not use the R8 and its popularity to become the first Hybrid or low emissions supercar under 225 g/km? They should forget competing with Porsche and the like and make other makers follow their example??

Imagine an R8 with a 3.6 highly strained V6 about, say 350bhp with all the energy regeneration gubbins, that can get into London for £ 27mpg?? Come on....

5 December 2007

I agree, a V10 R8 is a bit of a waste of time IMO, why on earth wouldn't you just buy a Gallardo?

5 December 2007

Precisely. I think Audi have reached their ceiling with the R8. It should not be comparing to Lambos and Porsches...

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