The Audi R8 as we know it is bowing out with the special edition rear-wheel drive GT but at some point in its life, it nearly got a radically different engine to the 5.2-litre V10 we have come to know and love.
Steve Sutcliffe from The Connection recently sat down with Marcos Marques, Project Manager eFuels at Porsche where a very interesting disclosure took place.
The folks from Ingolstadt had planned a base variant of the Audi R8, but with a turbocharged five-cylinder engine from the TT RS and RS3. If this did indeed happen, it would get a rear-wheel-drive layout to save weight and would have been available with a manual.
Marques mentioned the five-cylinder would be down on horsepower but up on torque compared to the V10 which means the 2.5-litre would have been tweaked.
Although this version was “cleaner and almost as quick” as the V10, they decided against it.
“It was a shame because the five-cylinder turbo engine was a good strong engine, it sounded different, and I think it worked well in the R8. The car was lighter and more agile, too, but maybe some people at Audi Sport didn’t think it felt like a real R8, so quite late on they decided the car wouldn’t happen” said Marques.
Source: Motor1 and The Intercooler