Audi’s glorious naturally-aspirated V10 is not, as some may believe, on the chopping block.
Rumours of an early demise for Audi’s brilliant atmo V10 have been scotched by the car’s project boss.
As the last non-turbocharged unit in Audi’s extensive engine line-up, the 5.2-litre V10, also used in the Lamborghini Huracan, has long endured speculation that it must be on borrowed time.
Audi’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, currently capable of 445kW/750Nm in Audi RS6/RS7 Performance and S8 Plus guises, was tipped as a certainty to be dropped into the R8, potentially as early as midway through this second-generation model’s life around 2020.
However, R8 project boss Roland Schala has crushed those suggestions. In an exclusive chat with Wheels, Schala insists the V10 will run for the life the current model, and detailed development work is currently underway to keep the V10 sufficiently clean-breathing to meet tough new emission laws (targeting particle emissions of spark ignition engines), which come into force in Europe in 2019.
“We are currently developing a particulate filtration system for the R8 to prepare it for life beyond 2019. It’s an expensive, time-intensive program”, says Schala.
“We are currently testing systems that use both two and four individual particle filters; our challenge is to package theses filters effectively in a tight engine bay, and to make sure the filters have no detrimental effect on the engine’s sound or outputs. Software changes will help solve those [later] issues.”
Schala’s message is clear: Audi would not be sinking this level of resources into the V10 if it planned to put a bullet in its head any time soon. Atmo engine lovers, rejoice.