Audi's performance car division says it wants to keep putting a V10 engine in the R8 despite a push to go electric with the next-generation version. UK's Autocar spoke to Audi Sport director Oliver Hoffman at last weekend's Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race, where the Audi R8 LMS Evo finished first overall.
Hoffman said Audi Sport customers "Love ...the current R8," and its 5.2L V10. But its survival in the Audi portfolio will depend on the company's ability to keep it compliant with emissions regulations. Working in the R8's favour is the fact that Lamborghini will keep using the Volkswagen Group-built V10 in the Huracan, which shares a platform with the R8.
"We are working very close(ly) with the guys from (Lamborghini)," said Hoffman. "The only way to develop such kinds of cars is to share the cost for development."
While it's looking likely the forthcoming third-gen R8 will be an EV, Audi will show a roadgoing race-inspired version of the current model at next week's Goodwood Festival of Speed. It could provide the inspiration for future low-volume, V10-powered R8 models even after the car makes its transition to battery power.
While Audi frets over the future of the gas-powered R8, BMW is convinced combustion engines will be around for at least 30 years while electric vehicles gain mainstream acceptance.