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Car and Driver: Audi R8 Entry Model Will Get Twin-Turbo V-6

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2016 Audi R8 V-10 Plus

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Audi’s entry-level R8 will be powered by a twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, Car and Driver has learned from reliable sources. The new model is expected to launch in 2018; its 3.0-liter engine will make around 450 horsepower.

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The twin-turbo engine is a variation of the 354-hp V-6 launched in the 2017 Audi S4. It will be mated to the same seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that is fitted in the R8 V10, with its naturally aspirated V-10 engine. The torque will be delivered to all four wheels, with a rear bias to enhance agility. Top speed will be ungoverned, and the R8 V-6 is expected to max out at around 190 mph.

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The news dispels rumors that the entry-level R8 would be powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder, like the TT RS. “A five-cylinder engine in the R8 would have created a strange internal competition between the entry-level R8 and the TT RS,” a source told us.

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Meanwhile, the V-8-powered R8 is history. Audi no longer makes naturally aspirated V-8 engines—as found in the previous-generation entry-level R8—and a twin-turbocharged V-8 would come uncomfortably close to the V-10 top-of-the-line car.

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The R8 V6 will represent the third powertrain option for the R8. Audi is planning to launch a very limited run of the all-electric R8 e-tron. Down the road, there also will be higher-powered variations of the V-10.

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We expect the R8 V6 to be unveiled in early 2018, with a mid-year start as a 2019 model. Look for it to be available as both a coupe and a roadster.

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