Audi will be keeping the tradition of using the 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10 powerplant for the current-generation R8 as CarAdvice recently reported that the company's head of engine development, Jurgen Konigstedt, stated that they don't need forced induction yet to produce high amounts of horsepower for the sports car.
Currently at the helm of the development of V6, V8 and V10 engines for Audi, Konigstedt stressed that at the moment they do not need to make a turbocharged engine for the R8. In addition, a turbocharged engine would not be as lively as a conventional unit.
“The performance potential of this current engine means we don’t need to even look at turbocharging at this point. Do we actually need the power that turbocharging would generate? I would say no. If you want to create an engine that makes this much power, you have different options to realize that power figure. Natural aspiration has the bonus of giving you the sound, the throttle response and the sensation of revving cleanly to redline,” said Konigstedt.
However, Konigstedt did say that there are talks within the corporate level about the future powertrain of the R8. He also added that Audi remains committed to be a turbo brand as most of their vehicles have forced induction under the hood.
It would be the next logical choice for the Audi R8 to get a turbocharged powertrain but there are still factors that are still needed to be considered added Konigstedt.
“Yes, this is true. However, there are numerous factors to consider besides power and torque. For example, at lower speeds, the turbo engine might be more efficient, but at higher speeds, under prolonged load, the naturally aspirated engine might actually be more efficient,” he added.
Emotion is also an integral part of owning an Audi R8, which the turbocharged engine lacks according to Konigstedt.
In the future however, Konigstedt admitted that the use of turbos will become the norm but they are still finding ways to make that type of technology more connected to the driver. But for the meantime, as long as demand for the V10 is high, then there is no need for a turbo engine for the R8.
“Ultimately the future of the V10 engine beyond this model will depend on the success. If buyers are happy with this engine there will be a compelling reason to persevere with it. If we feel that people absolutely want a turbocharged engine, then we will have to consider it.”
Source: CarAdvice AU