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Updated Audi R8 could get V6 power

Somewhere in the region of 440 horsepower could be on tap from a 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V6.

Audi's V10-powered R8 might get a less powerful -- and less expensive -- V6 sibling.
Emme Hall/Roadshow

Audi is expected to reveal a face-lifted version of the R8 this year, and it looks like a new engine could be part of the supercar's updates. But it won't be a V8 engine that'll complement the larger 5.2-liter V10. Instead, the R8 could go V6 -- specifically, with the 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged unit used in other Audi and Porsche models, Autocar reports.

Make no mistake, the 2.9-liter V6 is a honey of an engine. In the new Audi RS5, this six-pot puts out 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Under the hood of the Porsche Panamera 4S, it's good for 440 horsepower and 405 pound-feet. The 2.9-liter V6 mates to a dual-clutch transmission in either application, and we expect the same for R8 duty. We'll cross our fingers for a manual gearbox, but won't hold our breath.

The addition of a V6 will allow Audi to offer a lower price of entry into the R8 lineup. The 2.9-liter engine will effectively take the place of the discontinued 4.2-liter V8 that we adored in the first-generation R8. But while the old V8 was good for 430 horsepower and 317 pound-feet, the modern, twin-turbo V6 setup ought to be a bit more robust than that.

It's unclear exactly when Audi will show the facelifted R8. Rumor has it we'll see the car next week at the New York Auto Show, but Audi could hold off for a summer or fall reveal, as well. The automaker didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.