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Audi rules out V6-powered R8

by Ronan Glon

Audi argues the V10 is the best engine for the R8.

For years, widespread rumors have sketched a picture of an entry-level variant of the Audi R8 powered by a twin-turbocharged, 2.9-liter V6 engine. The speculation got louder when Audi gave the mid-engined supercar a mid-cycle update in October 2018. One of its top officials has shot down the reports, however.

Bjorn Friedrich, the R8's project manager, told British website Car Throttle that his team is not planning on launching a cheaper R8 with a six-cylinder engine. It won't get a V8, either, or anything other than a naturally-aspirated V10. "It's the best engine for the car... we'll stick to the V10," he said.

The 2.9-liter V6-powered model would have largely been aimed at markets like China and Europe where cars equipped with a large-displacement engine are heavily taxed. Friedrich didn't reveal whether Audi considered putting a V6 in the R8 and ultimately decided not to or if the option of launching a V6-powered model was never on the table to begin with.

He also declined to comment on the possibility of Audi Sport making another rear-wheel drive variant of the R8 before production ends. The current-generation R8 will likely be the last, so odds are Audi will choose to send it off with a bang.