The age of the giant, naturally-aspirated V8 or V10 or V12 engine is coming to end. In the future, we'll all be driving efficient forced-induction cars with comparatively small displacement and fewer cylinders. That's even true of performance cars, including — if the rumours are true — Audi's next R8.
Image: 2017 Audi R8 / Mark Bean
According to Car and Driver, the entry-level version of the 2018 Audi R8 will be powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6, a more powerful version of the engine being dropped into this year's S4. It'll be the first R8 in the car's 10-year history with less than eight cylinders.
The move towards smaller capacity, higher specific output engines is happening across the automotive industry. Ford raised eyebrows with the new GT, which abandons the combo of supercharged 5.4-litre V8 and manual 6-speed for a twin-turbocharged V6 and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The move, though, has obvious advantages in fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
Audi was previously rumoured to be using a more powerful version of the turbocharged 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine in the TT RS in the new entry-level R8. The future R8 will be joined by an extremely limited run of the all-electric R8 e-tron; gone are the days of that lovely 4.2-litre V8 — although the current 5.2-litre V10 sounds amazing. [Car and Driver]