Why the new powertrain? China. While the market there might have slowing growth, it's still a major country for auto sales. The annual taxes on cars there also happen to be based on engine displacement, and there's a 40 percent rate on those over 4.0-liters, according to Car and Driver.
The obvious answer to this conundrum is to build a smaller displacement, forced induction engine for the R8 and Huracán. Car and Driver points to the new turbocharged and electrically supercharged, 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder from the recent Audi TT Clubsport Turbo concept as a possible solution. Audi's e-turbo technology runs off a 48-volt electrical system and lithium-ion battery to produce a total of 600 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque in the prototype. With this mill, horsepower would barely shrink compared to the R8 V10 Plus and Lambo, but it actually makes more peak torque than their 5.2-liter V10s.
While this is all theoretically feasible, take the possibility with a big grain of salt for now. According to Car and Driver, Quattro GmbH's Stephan Reil says that there's no work currently underway to fit the twin-charged five-cylinder, "but it has been talked about." That means such a vehicle is likely years away, if ever. In the meantime, a diesel version of the e-turbo setup is on the way the in the SQ7.