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Audi backs another decade of V8 power

Eight is enough: The new 4.0-litre Audi V8 makes its debut in the S6 and S7.

Audi V8 gets new lease on life with twin-turbo that might make 420kW in RS models

16 Sep 2011


THE V8 engine is safe for another decade, despite the down-sizing trend, according to Audi which presented its new twin-turbo V8 engine at the Frankfurt motor show this week.

A senior engineer predicted the engine could make more than 420kW for upcoming RS models.

Audi manager of general vehicle development Heinz Hollerweger said V8 engines were still valid for high-performance cars.

“If you can get a good compromise between economy and performance, they will last,” he said.

The new Audi V8 uses the same basic block as the existing 4.2-litre V8, but has been reduced to 4.0-litres and gains new heads.

Replacing the 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10, the new unit generates 309kW and 550Nm for the new S6, S6 Avant and S7 coupe which were presented at the Frankfurt event.

An even more potent version with 382kW and 650Nm will fitted to the S8, which is due to be released early next year.

The new twin-turbo V8 delivers considerable economy gains over the V10 it replaces and also follows US engines from Chrysler and General Motors by introducing cylinder deactivation technology that switches off four of the cylinders when cruising.

This and the smaller capacity bring fuel economy gains of up to 3 litres per 100km across the three models.

Mr Hollerweger said it was unlikely Audi would chase further fuel savings by reducing the size of the V8.

7 center imageLeft: Audi S6 sedan and Avant.

“We won’t ‘de-size’ because we have the powerful 3.0-litre six-cylinder that is supercharged,” he said.

Audi Australia’s managing director Uwe Hagen told GoAuto the future of the Audi V8 was bright, as customers still wanted V8 engines even though they don’t need them.

“We are limited to 110km/h and a four-cylinder would easily be enough, but with a V8 you are getting that sound, the performance – you are selling vision to the customer,” he said.

“For a logical side, there is no need, but the customer is setting the rules. They want a V8 and they want it to be efficient.”

However, Mr Hollerweger hinted the double-boosted new V8 would match or better the output of the out-going RS6 twin-turbo V10, which produced 426kW and 540Nm.

“Can we match the (V10 RS6) power and torque? We believe so, but we will see,” he said.

The new V8 is expected to relegate the V10 to high-level supercars.

“There is no long future for the V10 in front-engined cars,” Mr Hollerweger said. “For them we believe that with the V8 we will have a comparable engine that is also developable for the future.”

But what about the V10 sportscars? “The V10 will stay in models like the R8 and the Lamborghini, where the engine is in the back,” Mr Hollerweger said. “I think the V10 has an outstanding sound for this kind of sportscar.”

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