First, we’ll start with the good news. Audi is making another type of R8 that will be more entry level and possibly more affordable. As Car and Driver reports, the world will be given the gift of a smaller, V6 engine making around 450HP. It will also be turboed. Twice. This is actually great news, potentially bringing in a new segment of buyers that the R8 may not have attracted before due to price concerns.
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. Torque will be delivered to all four wheels, with a rear bias to enhance agility. Top speed will be ungoverned, and the R8 V6 is expected to max out at around 190 mph.
Now on to the bad news. The V8, naturally aspirated Audi is no more. It’s an ex engine. It has ceased to be. The twin turbo 6 will replace it as the entry level option. As the V8 departs, so does the awesome engine noise it produced. Thankfully the V10 is still there to make our ears bleed.
Now on to the disappointing news. Audi will continue to not supply the R8 with a manual gearbox. As I argued with the rest of the Shifting Lanes brain trust on this today, a few things became readily apparent.
1) This will keep Audi from having to make a totally separate transmission, keeping costs down – good for Audi
2) This will keep us from getting a manual transmission on an entry level super car – bad for enthusiasts
I’m of the mindset that paddle shifters and dual-clutch transmissions are supremely excellent especially on super cars. They make sense in this automotive space since the transmission is designed to actually make you go faster. This is a good thing, but 450hp is not over-the-top-I-need-paddles fast. Hell, a Chevy SS is 414hp and I’ve driven that and it does not need paddles. Yes totally different class of car and segment, but it’s worth the argument. Audi missed a golden opportunity here to bring back the glorious gated manual they used to have on a few R8s. Huge bummer.
The car itself will undoubtedly be excellent, but I wish it had more pedals. We’ll cover this and more later this month when we visit the Audi booth at the New York International Auto Show.
(Source: Car and Driver)