We expected the 4.0-liter to be the go-to engine in the next R8, but according to Car and Driver, there have been some issues cooling the force-induced mill in the mid-engine R8. The issues are so severe, in fact, that the 4.2 is going to be retained in the car's second generation.
It's more than just practical matters like cooling that are keeping the R8 from going turbocharged. C/D reports that even with the current state of forced induction, a turbocharged R8's throttle response and its resultant exhaust note would suffer too much to be feasible.
And of course, there is a question of politics. Audi wants a gap between the base R8 and the V10-powered model. Fitting the more potent 4.0-liter would mean upping the power in the V10, which would place the top-end R8 a bit too close to the upcoming V10-powered Lamborghini Huracán.
We've reached out to Audi for a comment as to whether there's any truth to the Car and Driver report. As of publish time, though, we haven't received a response. Whatever the actual reason – or reasons – for keeping the 4.2 V8 around, we're just hoping the magazine is right. We're sure the turbo 4.0 would be a great engine in the R8, but our ear drums are particularly happy at the thought of this naturally aspirated, rev-happy eight-cylinder hanging on in today's increasingly downsized and turbocharged world.