Speaking to Autocar at the recent Nurburgring 24-hour race, Audi Sport managing director Oliver Hoffmann suggested there was a strong desire to see the free-revving, naturally-aspirated engine live on in the third-generation R8.
However, increasingly stringent emissions regulations and a broader move towards electrification make such an engine increasingly difficult to justify. Hoffmann explained there is a need to not only identify what type of drivetrain will be most appropriate for such cars, but also which engines would be best suited to electrification.
“The V10 is an icon, and a USP within the segment,” he said. “With the current R8, our customers love this car. We are fighting for the V10, but [for the next-generation] it’s more or less a question of ICE or electrification, and which kind of engine is useful for it.”
Autocar has reported previously that the third-generation R8, understood to be arriving in 2022, will be all-electric, and would potentially mark the end for the use of the V10 by the firm.
However, with other brands within the Volkswagen Group - most notably Lamborghini - reportedly committed to continued use of the V10, most likely in hybrid form, it’s possible we’ll see limited-run V10 versions of the new R8 offered alongside a mainstream electric model.
Hoffmann said: “Lamborghini has to have a naturally-aspirated engine, no other brand stands for NA like Lamborghini.
“We are working very close with the guys from Sant’Agata. The only way to develop such kinds of cars is to share the cost for development work and to have a very, very tough platform strategy.