They told us it would never happen, but it now seems that, contrary to earlier reports from senior Audi bosses, next year’s even hotter R8, the RS8, will get the same twin-turbocharged, 572bhp V10 as the RS6 super-saloon.
That stands to turn Audi's mid-engined sports car into the fastest road-going model ever to wear the four silver rings, and, curiously enough, a genuine treat to in-house rivals the Porsche 911 GT2 and Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. With that kind of firepower to call upon, expect the car to crack 62mph in less than 4.0 seconds, 100mph in around 8.5sec, and to top out way beyond 200mph.In conversation with Swedish journalists last year, and prompted by questions about RS8 prototypes being destroyed by fire at the Nordscheife in 2006, Quattro GmbH boss Werner Froweim had been quoted as saying that Audi could not provide enough cooling for the twin-turbocharged V10 in the R8’s engine bay.
He went to on explain that the car would receive a new, fast-revving 5.2-litre V10 built up around the existing 4.2-litre V8 used by the current R8 and outgoing RS4.
However, it now seems that Audi’s engineers have made a breakthrough allowing them to successfully install the RS6's monster twin-turbo V10 under the R8’s engine cover.
Head of Audi powertrain development Wolfgang Hatz confirmed as much to Autocar only last weekend. “The car is now signed off, and will appear during the second quarter of 2009,” he said. “I can’t say much about it until then,” he went on – but he did confirm the car’s engine origins.
Cool as a cucumber
“The cooling is no problem now," he said, referring to the extra cooling design work done for the V12 TDi concept; that will also appear on the V10, it seems, and provides an extra 20 per cent of cold air to the radiators, as well as including the option of a NACA-style roof air vent for the turbos too.“Why would we spend money developing a whole new engine for this car, when we already have such a good one,” Hatz continued.Further confirmation of the decision came recently, when Micheal Dick, Audi board member for product engineering, responded to a question about why the firm has its most powerful engine in anything other than its most highly revered sports car. “Be patient,” he said simply.