Entry-Level Audi R8 Getting 2.5 TFSI with e-Turbo, Rumor Says

TT Clubsport concept 1 photo
Photo: Audi
Right before Audi introduced the second generation of the R8 super sportscar, company officials said very few people wanted a manual gearbox or an entry-level V8. That’s why they were both dropped, but we always knew the base model would eventually come back.
Of course, re-using the 4.2-liter FSI V8 is out of the question. While it’s fun to rev its nuts off, there are some reliability issues and a lack of power. That’s why forced induction was always part of the agenda, and we suspected the upcoming RS4 would donate its all-new V6 engine for this project.

However, according to a new report coming from the UK, Audi is looking to source the base R8's engine from an even smaller car. While the 2.5-liter turbo has nothing more to give in its current configuration, adding an e-turbo system would give it enough punch to compete with a 911 Carrera S… theoretically.

Auto Express magazine claims insiders have told them a 2.5-liter will be dropped into the R8, not a V6. Audi has played with the 5-cylinder engine on the previous generation, so we can’t dismiss this rumor.

In any case, the entry-level R8 is at least two years away from being launched. At the moment, engineers are working on the R8 Spyder, scheduled to debut in 2016 with the same choice of V10s. The R8 e-tron is not ready for production either, despite claims made at the beginning of the year that customer orders would begin to be taken during 2015.

How powerful can the R8 2.5 TFSI be?

Audi needs to strike a fine balance between efficiency, power and price. At the minimum, that e-turbo needs to guarantee about 420 horsepower, because that’s what the early V8 models had.

The e-turbo technology works by forcing more air into the engine with an electric compressor instead of by re-circulating exhaust gasses to spin the blades of a turbocharger. Audi has shown several concepts, including one based on the TT back in May (shown above). That one claimed to offer 600 horsepower from the same 2.5-liter block we’re talking about today.

The upside is the e-turbo is said to eliminate virtually all turbo lag. The downside is that you need a special electric circuit, and the compressor drains battery energy extremely fast. Anything between 420 and 500 hp sounds like a safe bet.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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