The second generation Audi R8 shares its 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10 engine with the Lamborghini Huracan. The Huracan’s unit churns out 602 hp and 560 Nm of torque, while the R8’s mill can be had in two states of tune – 540 hp and 540 Nm of torque on the standard model, and 610 hp and 560 Nm of torque on the ‘R8 Plus’ model.
A recent report from Car And Driver says that the R8 and Huracan may add a new five-cylinder engine model to their ranges. According to the report, Lamborghini President Stephan Winkelmann finds Asian tax laws a hindrance to sales of supercars with big engines. Even Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management at Audi AG for Technical Development, indicates that both the R8 and Huracan would need engines with smaller displacement for their sales growth in China.
The Volkswagen Group didn’t have a choice for such powerful engines with smaller displacement before, but now they do. Every summer, the Group unleashes new technologies and sporty derivatives from its four volume brands – Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat at Lake Worthersee. This year, the meanest concept car presented here was the Audi TT Clubsport turbo which packs a 2.5-litre TFSI five-cylinder engine. The electric turbo-featuring engine produces 600 hp and 650 Nm of torque, output figures which put the R8 and Huracan’s 5.2-litre naturally aspirated mill to shame. The twin-turbocharged engine allows the concept car to clock 100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds and hit an unrestricted top speed of 310 km/h.
The 4.0-litre TFSI twin-turbocharged V8 engine found on the facelifted Audi RS7 produces 560 hp and 700 Nm of torque hasn’t been offered on either of the supercars as it would be pointless, because for engines larger than 2.0-liters, the consumption tax in China jumps to 9% and continues on a linear scale to 40% for 4.0-litre and even larger engines. There’s a downside with the idea of employing smaller engines, as they would require electric boosting, even if they’re turbocharged. Electric boosting requires adding a lithium-ion battery pack, and this means increase in kerb weight.
Stephan Reil, Head of Technology Development, quattro GmbH, says that there are also other issues like stability of tax laws and the potential demand growth that would be garnered by making the supercars more affordable, as per the report. The development of neither the R8, nor the Huracan with such a smaller engine has been started yet, but it has been discussed by the officials.
[Source: Car And Driver]