It appears an entry-level Audi R8 model is still on the cards, with new reports out of Europe indicating the ‘base’ variant will be powered by a twin-turbo V6 from the recently-launched Porsche Panamera sedan.
According to the UK’s Autocar, the new 324kW/550Nm 2.9-litre twin turbo V6 will serve as the replacement for the previous generation’s 316kW/430Nm 4.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8.
While the engine is punchy already, Autocar claims the R8’s version is likely to be tweaked to produce over 500bhp (373kW) and 678Nm, which would put it in very close contention with the 397kW/540Nm V10 and 449kW/560Nm V10 Plus models.
In the heavier Panamera 4S, the twin-turbo V6 propels the German sedan from 0-100km/h in just 4.2 seconds when equipped with the Sports Chrono package (4.4 without).
With the uprated version, the R8 should easily hit triple figures in around 3.5 seconds.
The current 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10 and V10 Plus models can sprint from 0-100km/h in 3.5 and 3.2 seconds respectively – meaning the V6 could potentially replace the standard V10 variant in the line-up.
Despite the rumours, a timeframe of when we can expect the German marque to introduce the new engine to any of its models is still unknown.
Car and Driver’s report in March – which speculated the base R8 would utilise the S4’s 3.0-litre V6 – suggested an early-2018 reveal was likely.
In the meantime, stay tuned to CarAdvice for more updates.