A report released in May suggested that the second generation Audi R8 could gain a turbocharged engine.
Audi has a thing for turbocharged engines, but not when it comes to R8 supercar.
Speaking to CarAdvice, Jurgen Konigstedt, Head of V8 and V10 Petrol Engine Development at Audi, ruled out the possibility of a turbocharged engine being offered in the supercar for now. “For us that [emotion] is a big factor. We only have this engine and the engine in the RS5 that remain naturally aspirated, but it is all about the sense of emotion for us,” he said.
The current naturally aspirated engine is already so powerful that the company doesn’t feel the need to consider turbocharging for now. “The performance potential of this current engine means we don’t need to even look at turbocharging at this point”, said Mr. Konigstedt.
“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 realise that power figure. Natural aspiration has the bonus of giving you the sound, the throttle response and the sensation of revving cleanly to redline,” he expressed.
It’s not like Audi hasn’t thought about turbocharged engines, they just didn’t find it convincing. “We’ve discussed turbocharging obviously, because we have to find the right way to bring the car to market and Audi has a long history with turbocharging but this engine is undoubtedly the best engine for the R8 at the moment,” he pointed out.
Whether the supercar will get a turbocharged engine or not, depends on the customer demand; Audi doesn’t intend to offer it out of its own will. If buyers “absolutely want a turbocharged engine”, then the company will consider it.
A turbocharged R8, then, is nothing more than a whim until Audi has perfected it’s e-turbo technology and batteries used for it are extremely lightweight and inexpensive.