Sadly, the V8's days appear numbered in the brand's flagship model, according to a new report from Car, which claims Audi will ditch the beloved, off-angle 4.2-liter for a 2.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V6. The rumor cites sources in Ingolstadt who claim the new engine will develop 450 horsepower, up 20 ponies on the current entry level engine. We'd expect a commensurate increase in fuel economy too, befitting of a smaller, force-induced engine.
Still, this is counter to what we've heard before. But, if the report proves true, the R8 will join the ranks of turbocharged supercars like the Ferrari 488 GTB and California. It's unclear when such a switch would be made, but according to Car, we can place the blame squarely on China. The country has been combating large-displacement engines since 2008, attaching massive taxes on vehicles with anything larger than a 3.0-liter engine. It's China's position, Car reports, that led to the death of another beloved, naturally aspirated V8, Mercedes-AMG's 6.2-liter model. First the venerable M156 and now Audi's 4.2-liter V8? Just stop this silliness China.