Audi R8 V10

When the all-new Audi R8 was launched last year, it was only available with a 5.2 litre naturally-aspirated V10 in 540 hp and 610 hp Plus forms; the much-loved 4.2 litre NA V8 of the original was dropped. Now, Car and Driver quotes “reliable sources” as saying that an entry-level model is slated to return in 2018, but – as previously reported – with turbo power instead.

That power is expected to come from a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 – a development of the 354 hp mill seen on the new Audi S4 – mated to the V10’s seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and rear-biased quattro all-wheel drive. The addition of another turbocharger is expected to bump power to around 450 hp; enough, C&D says, to propel the base model R8 to a top speed of 306 km/h.

This means that the car will not be powered by a 2.5 litre turbo five-pot like the one on the TT RS, as reported by a number of publications. “A five-cylinder engine in the R8 would have created a strange internal competition between the entry-level R8 and the TT RS,” said one source.

Audi R8 V10

The report also states that a V8-powered model won’t be returning to the lineup. Production of the NA V8 has been discontinued, and a turbocharged mill would put it too close to the current V10 models.

In other R8 news today, the topless Spyder variant has been spotted by our European spy photographers completely undisguised and in a retina-searing yellow hue. Expect it to also feature the twin-turbo V6, in addition to the Coupe’s current V10.