"It is inevitable that we will go to a turbocharged motor for it at some point," Audi technical development board member Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg said to Motoring. "It would be in this model cycle, to give us a fuller range." The executive certainly isn't mincing words about forced induction, but the V10's position in the lineup is also secure. "It doesn't mean we are not going to do a turbo, but naturally aspirated is here to stay as well," he said.
If Dr. Hackenberg's direct assertion isn't enough, Quattro GmbH chief Heinz Peter Hollerweger further clarified to Motoring that the turbocharged engine would slot into the bottom of the R8's range. An unnamed "senior sales and marketing source" within the Audi also said that the company's turbo five-cylinder was among the currently favored choices for the application.
The first rumors about the R8 getting a forced induction version arose just a few months ago. At the time, Audi's electrically turbocharged, 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder was considered an option. The model would solve a problem in markets, like China, that severely tax big displacement engines. Customers might not even need to worry about giving up too much performance either. In the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo concept, the powerplant has a total output of 600 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. While 10 fewer ponies than the latest R8 V10 Plus, it would bring 66 lb-ft more twist to the supercar.