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Next Audi A8 to debut new turbo V8

On the way out: The current Audi S8 uses a V10 engine which will make way for a turbo V8 next time.

V10s to be cut from Audi passenger cars, replaced with a new boosted V8

21 Sep 2009

A RED-HOT turbo V8 will make its debut in the all-new A8 range next year as Audi takes the first step to drop V10s from its passenger car range.

The move is part of a push by the Volkswagen Group, including Audi, to shrink the size of its engines to improve fuel economy.

Audi is also expected to introduce carbon fibre-reinforced plastics, more magnesium and more aluminium for the A8 luxury sedan, which will soon enter production at Audi’s Neckarsulm plant in Germany.

A new type of composite aluminum with a copper core for increased strength is being introduced with the A8.

Details of the new V8 are being kept under wraps, but Audi has confirmed it will feature a turbo and direct injection technology and will be mated with a new eight-speed torque converter-type automatic transmission.

Volkswagen Group powertrain development head, Wolgang Hatz, told GoAuto that although the V10 will not be used for the S8, it still had a valid role.

7 center imageLeft: Audi S8 5.2-Litre V10 engine.



“We will continue with (V10 for) our supers sports cars, the Audi R8, there we will continue,” he said.

It is not clear if RS cars will also move to the boosted V8. The current RS6 uses a twin-turbo V10 which produces 426kW and 540Nm representing a massive power gain over previous generation models.

Mr Hatz said that the recent rapid increase in horsepower could not continue and the outputs could actually decline.

“From a performance point of view we have reached the top level,” Mr Hatz said.

“I don’t see big increases in the future.” By reducing the weight of its cars, Audi could even reduce the output and still deliver the same performance, he said.

“We have to look at the performance of the overall car. We need to strengthen our lightweight technologies.

“We are in a good position with our space-frame technologies, and in the future we have to work very hard to reduce the weight of the cars.

“If you reduce the weight you might even reduce the performance a little bit in order to keep the engine and car performance at the same level.” While he is a firm believer in down-sizing engines, Mr Hatz, who drives an Audi RS6 and Lamborghini Gallardo, says high-output performance cars will survive the current push for greener cars.

“There will be customers who want performance still, and as long as we have a demand we will answer those,” he said.

“We will continue the high-performance cars in the future we will not dilute this.” Mr Hatz said high-performance cars could use more fuel than standard cars when pushed, but they do not usually do many kilometres.

“I think that you don’t burn so much fuel in those cars if you really look,” he said.

“I have a Lamborghini Gallardo, but how much do I use it? Hardly. At the weekend five to 10 times a year. So, if some people who also want to have this luxury, why not keep it up because luxury is not bad.” Mr Hatz said discussions about energy use should not only focus on cars because “then you start a discussion in the end whether it is okay if you have a house that is 400 square metres with a swimming pool and so on.”

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