It was almost a month ago when we found Audi has plans to turbocharge the second generation R8 and this engine will serve as a replacement for the V8 4.2-liter naturally aspirated unit of the old model. As a consequence, the R8 turbo will serve as the entry-level model in the range and now we are hearing more details about its identity.
A report coming from UK says it will be a brand new 2.9-liter V6 twin turbocharged motor that will push out somewhere in the region of 450 bhp which represents a serious hike over the original first-gen R8 that had 414 bhp coming out from the aforementioned V8 NA engine.
It should be specified the engine will not come out in the near future as Audi has announced the turbocharged version will be launched later during the car’s lifespan and most likely we will see it in about 2-3 years from now.
Purists are certainly not too fond of the idea of having a turbocharged R8, but the main reason why Audi is doing this is to meet the more stringent regulations regarding fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. These are getting stricter not only in Europe but also in North America, and if Audi wants to keep selling the R8 worldwide they will have to make it more efficient.
There’s also another important reason why the R8 will embrace turbocharging: China. Local authorities have implemented some serious taxes for cars with engines that have a 3.0-liter (or above) displacement and this has definitely hurt sales. By launching a 2.9-liter engine (with turbo), Audi will be able to sell the R8 in China which is one of the most important markets for the company.
If it weren’t for these two factors, most likely the R8 would have solider on with an improved version of the beloved V8 4.2-liter normally aspirated engine.