Audi R8 V10

Fans of the Audi R8 rejoice! Ingolstadt’s mid-engine sports car will not be bowing to pressure – quite literally. The two-door sports car will not have a turbocharged engine anytime soon, as it will be staying with the naturally-aspirated 5.2 litre V10 that currently makes 540 hp and 540 Nm, or 610 hp and 560 Nm of torque in the higher-tuned V10 plus.

Jurgen Konigstedt, Audi’s head of development for the V8, V6 and V10 engines told CarAdvice that there are no immediate plans to have a turbocharged engine for the Audi R8, as he explained that the current power generated by the 5.2 litre was sufficient.

“The performance potential of this current engine means we don’t need to even look at turbocharging at this point. Do we actually need the power that turbocharging would generate? I would say no,” he said, noting that turbochargers were not the only way to achieve power.

Konigstedt also mentioned that naturally-aspirated engines were different in a sense that they sounded better, had better throttle response and could rev “cleanly” all the way to the redline. “There is less emotion with a turbocharged engine, and for us that is a big factor,” the chief said.

Audi R8 V10 FL-12

It would seem that the decision to keep to a free-breathing engine was not an easy one to come to – particularly at the corporate level. Konigstedt restated that the brand will continue to see the use of turbochargers however, but not for the R8. Yet.

According to him, a naturally-aspirated engine is more efficient as the rev rises along the power band. “There are numerous factors to consider besides power and torque. For example, at lower speeds, the turbo engine might be more efficient, but at higher speeds, under prolonged load, the naturally-aspirated engine might actually be more efficient,” he claimed.

While the Audi R8 will stick to its V10 in the near future, whether the engine would continue on will depend very much on the demand of it. “If buyers are happy with this engine, there will be a compelling reason to persevere with it. If we feel that people absolutely want a turbocharged engine, then we will have to consider it,” he admitted.