The Audi R8 is an engineering marvel capable of hitting speeds of more than 200mph, but is that because it has a Lamborghini engine?
Owing to its close affiliation with Lamborghini as a company, the Audi R8 certainly does boast a Lamborghini engine. The R8 model has the same engine as the Lamborghini Huracan: a 5.2-liter V10 capable of producing more than six hundred horsepower.
Read on to learn more about the Audi R8, its similarities with Lamborghini models, and why it’s such a popular car.
V10: The Elusive Engine
As time goes on, fewer and fewer manufacturers are producing supercars that are equipped with a V10 engine. Although the V10 engine has a considerable history behind it, it’s almost totally dropping out of production today.
In 1936, engineering company Busch-Sulzer built the first-ever V10 engine, designed for use in a train. It was enormous, as you might imagine, and easily outdid some modern-day cars in overall size.
These days, the V10 engine is more commonly used in Formula One vehicles than it is in production road vehicles. They’re dramatically powerful, high-performance engines that are built for nothing other than speed.
It’s one of the factors that contribute to the impressive status of the Audi R8, the premium supercar offering from the German manufacturer. The modern-day Audi R8 is built around a 5.2-liter V10 engine, but that wasn’t always the case.
When it was first released the Audi R8 was built around a V8 engine – less impressive, and less power overall. Although it was one of the most powerful cars Audi had ever built, the engine only reached a displacement of 4.2-liters.
Audi definitely felt they could achieve more with the R8, and they set to upgrade the R8 just two years after launch, seeking to include that elusive V10 engine. The only issue was, Audi didn’t have its own V10 engine.
But Lamborghini did, and the Italian supercar manufacturer sat extremely close to Audi under the Volkswagen Group header. Therefore, Audi did the logical thing and borrowed the V10 engine that was currently sitting under the hood in the Lamborghini Gallardo.
Going To The Next Level
The upgrade was a massive success, and it pushed the performance levels of the Audi R8 through the roof. It was now a 5.2-liter V10 beast, capable of producing more than six hundred horsepower and exceeding two hundred miles-per-hour.
Lamborghini and Audi would stick together as the years went on, with future iterations of the R8 showing consistency with the ‘engine borrowing practice’. The 2017 edition (and onwards) of the Audi R8 shared the same engine as the Huracan, one of Lamborghini’s most recent offerings.
While the Huracan boasts a sharper image overall and essentially embodies the term ‘supercar’, it can be easily matched by the Audi R8. The latter vehicle is more of an ‘everyday’ supercar, with a slightly larger road presence, more practicality, and a lower price.
These cars are some of the rare few left in the world with a V10 engine. As we’ve explained, the use of the V10 seems to be dying out as the years wear ever onwards, and manufacturers like BMW and Dodge – who have used them before – are leaving them behind.
When we compare the Lamborghini Huracan and the Audi R8, we can unearth many reasons as to why you’d prefer to purchase the latter. This is a notion that was explored at length by thedrive.com, who revealed they’d much sooner buy the R8 than the Huracan.
Firstly, the Audi R8 is better-equipped, boasting an advanced virtual cockpit with a massive 12-inch infotainment display. Where aesthetics are concerned, the Audi R8 can certainly hold its own, boasting an instantly recognizable stature that is guaranteed to turn heads.
And of course, it’s much cheaper – which is a factor that massively interests someone looking to get into the supercar stakes. While the Huaracan costs around two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars brand new, the Audi R8 is less than one hundred and eighty thousand dollars.
In 2021, Audi revealed their ‘Green Hell’ edition of the R8, a staggeringly powerful vehicle that could go from zero to sixty in three seconds. The Green Hell R8 boasted a unique color palette that was reminiscent of an emerald, glittering as it screams down the track at two hundred miles-per-hour.
However, this special edition was limited to fifty units worldwide and equipped with a price tag of around two hundred and eighty thousand dollars. Now, that’s exclusive driving.