Rumored V6-powered Audi R8 appears in roadmap leak

Rumored V6-powered Audi R8 appears in roadmap leak

Audi‘s rumored V6-powered R8 appears to have surfaced in a leaked product roadmap.

The new offering is listed among seven new or redesigned models slated for 2018 including the RS 5 Coupe, A6, A7, A8, Q8 and a mystery electric vehicle concept, according to the document posted by Autobahn.de and spotted by Autoblog.

The company recently introduced the second-generation R8 (pictured) without carrying over the previous entry-level V8 powerplant. A V10 currently provides the only powertrain option, tuned to deliver either 540 or 610 horsepower depending on the particular trim level.

Eliminating an entry-level V8 effectively bumped the R8’s base price up by $47,000 compared to the first generation.

Previous reports suggest a new base model is under development, outfitted with a downsized 2.9-liter V6. The turbocharged mill is expected to deliver around 450 ponies, an improvement of 35 horsepower over the discontinued V8.

The decision to build an R8 V6 is believed to be driven in part by China’s tariffs on 3.0-liter engines. The offering could also provide a wider gap between the entry-level R8 and its V10 flagship variants.

It is unclear if the rumored V6 will carry a lower base price than the V8 edition. The first-gen R8 encountered lackluster sales in recent years. Deliveries dropped to 495 units last year, down from more than 1,100 units in 2011.