According to multiple reports, there is a longshot possibility that the Audi R8 and Lamborghini Huracan will be powered by a five-cylinder engine. Even more unbelievable to some is the fact that such a switch wouldn’t mean a big performance hit, even though both supercars currently use a 5.2-liter V-10 engine.
The engine that supposedly would be used in both models is a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder. It’s both turbocharged and electrically supercharged. Audi showed off the advanced powertrain technology with its TT Clubsport Turbo concept recently. Thanks to the electrically-driven supercharger, the engine experiences no turbo lag since it kicks in at the low end. It runs off a 48-volt system and draws power from a lithium-ion battery.
Even though the new engine is significantly smaller, thanks to its innovative setup it is supposed to put out 600 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque. That would be a small hit in the horsepower department, but peak torque would actually increase.
Before everyone complains that CAFE in the United States has fueled the potential decision to dump the screaming, naturally-aspirated V-10 for the Lambo and Audi, that’s not the factor cited as driving the potential switch. Instead, it’s the Chinese government’s tax on vehicles that is tied directly to the displacement of the engine. By slimming down the two supercars’ engines, the Volkswagen Group stands to boost sales.
According to a report from Car and Driver, there are many issues the new powertrain would have to overcome to be passed into production. Some think that the tax laws in China might change in the near future, making the smaller engine unnecessary. Others question if the complexity will stand in the way of success. The VW Group is also weighing just how much of a sales boost the forced induction setup would generate. After all, many people purchase something like an R8 or Huracan as a form of conspicuous consumption, plus to hear the howling naturally-aspirated V-10 engine.