Roadshow asked Audi about the R8 V6 on March 20, the carmaker didn't respond. A Motoring piece from the same day says Audi is "set to confirm a twin-turbo six-cylinder" R8, and that the new entry-level coupe will debut at next week's New York Auto Show. In an Autocar story from March 19, the magazine says it has seen the R8 V6 out testing, and that "The only visual cues to differentiate the V6 model from its V10 sibling, according to the spotted development car, will be smaller exhaust baffles hidden behind the rear grilles." The story also references Audi insider comments on multiple power outputs for the V6 in a "quartet of new performance models," and suggests the R8 V6 "will come with more than one power output."
One hitch here is that due to a confusing practice at Autocar, we don't know when the mag saw the development R8 V6 coupe. Often, when Autocar updates an old story with new information, it will delete the old story then run the mix of old and new info with a new date. The magazine's details on the V6 engine outputs date back to a 2016 piece, which we know because a Road & Track post linked to it in October 2017. Yet that RT link now goes to Autocar's updated story from two days ago.
The point being, there could have been an R8 V6 roaming the streets two years ago. The car's technical lead said in 2015 that the V6 would be perfect for the coupe, and an Audi product roadmap from 2016 listed an R8 V6 at the bottom of a column of vehicles due for release this year. All those other vehicles have arrived or are on the way. Whither the R8 V6? Is it really just a ghost? Is it simply not meant for the U.S., but China gets a crack at it because of its Sino-friendly displacement? And what does all this disinformation mean for the "long life" of the current car? We should know more when New York opens, whether or not the R8 V6 makes an appearance.