Ugly Audi R8: From Ugly Duckling to Powerhouse

More Torque than V10, Dual-Clutch Auto Option

Rumors about a potentially smaller engine for the Audi R8 had been making rounds on the internet for some time prior, yet it sadly never happened. To bid the second-generation of this sleek supercar farewell, the GT RWD special edition is pictured here, and there are now plans to make an all-electric version, instead. At one point, hearsay had it that the luxury Automotive Manufacturer was interested in putting a turbocharged V6 into production, likely as a more economical variant.

Rumors have been circulating for years that there was going to be an indirect descendent born of the first-generation R8 V8. The reality is considerably different. It appears that Audi had, in fact, put in motion plans for an introductory model, though it would have instead employed a five-cylinder engine rather than a V6. More specifically, they intended to source their turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five from the TT RS and RS3.

An intriguing revelation was made by Marcos Marques, the Project Manager eFuels at Porsche, to journalist Steve Sutcliffe in an interview for The Connection. As part of the plan, they would have done away with the Quattro system and utilized a rear-wheel layout to save on weight. Contrarily to its successor, which is solely outfitted with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission, the not-so-fortunate alternate version would have been available with a manual gearbox. Reminiscing on the first-generation R8, a 6-speed gated manual system was also proposed.

Marques stated that the turbocharged R8 had lower horsepower but more torque than the V10 model, thereby suggesting that the inline-five would’ve been pushed beyond the 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) accessible in the RS3. As a point of reference, the second-generation R8 had 398 lb-ft (540 Nm) when it was unveiled in early 2015. He added that the turbo five-cylinder was “cleaner and almost as fast” as the V10.

As 2017 entered its second half, it was the opportune moment for Audi Sport to unleash the rear-wheel-drive R8 RWS upon the world. In this supercar, they chose to adhere to the V10 configuration and retain the 5.2 FSI motor that’s additionally utilized in the Lamborghini Huracan.

Marques, who likewise exposed an uncompleted quad-turbo, flat-eight Porsche supercar, has faith that the five-cylinder, rear-wheel-drive R8 with either a manual transmission or dual-clutch automatic was a chance not taken advantage of.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that Audi did not only install the celebrated inline-five, V8 and V10 engines in their R8 models. Those who recall the outrageous V12 TDI concept from 2008 will be aware that it unleashed nearly 500 horses and generated an impressive 738 lb-ft. (1,000 Nm) of torque, eventually powering the Q7 V12 TDI. An alternative electric version of the R8, the R8 E-Tron, also existed for a short period of time.

Source: The Intercooler (subscription required)

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