The V8 engine is safe for now.

Audi's shift towards electrification will spawn a number of high-end, battery-powered models aimed at Tesla's Model S and Model X. Electric technology is jaw-droppingly expensive to develop, so the shift is also causing the company to re-evaluate all aspects of its business in a bid to save as much cash as possible. "We will thin out our engine-transmission combinations, but entire engine families might also disappear," Peter Mertens, Audi's board member for technical development, told Automotive News during a recent interview. "Do we really need a V10 and W12 for the next generation of cars?"

Both engines are unlikely to go away completely. Audi's fantastic naturally-aspirated V10 engine shares a common heritage with the 10-cylinder found in the Lamborghini Huracan, while the mighty, 600-horsepower W12 is commonly found across the Bentley lineup. It's the top-spec engine in the Bentayga, for example.

That's bad news for fans of large-displacement engines, but downsizing won't reach V8 territory, according to Mertens. The diesel engine is safe for now, too.

"We get questioned about the future of the V8, and in particular the diesel, but I cannot imagine we will do without it. We have a very important group of customers that really wants eight-cylinder engines in larger vehicles. Will it last forever? No, but it will for a rather long time," he explained.