Audi R8 to swap V8 for five-cylinder turbo engine

Audi R8 V10 Plus - side static
4 Nov, 2015 5:00pm Steve Sutcliffe

Possibly mated to an electric motor, Audi's five-cylinder turbo engine could end up in the R8 - in place of a V8 model

There will be no V8 version of the new Audi R8. What there will be - according to the Ingolstadt rumour mill - is a cheaper five-cylinder turbocharged model, powered by a highly re-engineered version of the Audi RS3’s five cylinder turbo.

This may or may not get some additional boosting from a hybrid system in the fullness of time, although there will be a fully electric production version of the new R8, too, called the e-Tron

That model has 456bhp purely from two electric motors, so expect plenty of power from this new five-pot model if it does make production as a hybrid. The current Audi RS3 uses a version of the 2.5-litre TFSI petrol engine in question, producing 362bhp - though expect it to be tuned up even more if it does end up in the R8 supercar.

The V10 Plus will always remain the top flight version of R8, but the five-cylinder turbo model will be lighter and, with the potential assistance from a hybrid system, could be even more potent where it counts - on the road.

Don’t expect to see a five-cylinder R8 for well over a year, however, with or without a hybrid powertrain. It's possible that the rumoured five-cylinder version will take on a sub-£100,000 price tag if it makes its way into UK showrooms.

We've also seen a soft-top version of Audi's supercar out testing. It's looking likely to be revealed in 2016, and will cost around £10,000 more than the equivalent V10 coupe, which starts from £119,000.

Do you think a five-cylinder turbo engine is the right fit for a supercar? Let us know what you think below...