Facelift Audi R8 Spied Again, Rumored with 2.9-Biturbo from RS 5

AutoCar has published more photos of the upcoming Audi R8 facelift. What you see above is just one shot of nearly every angle of this red specimen spy photographers encountered testing in Europe. Beyond that, another very interesting detail is the reported on-again rumor of a V6 biturbo variant.

A forced induction V6 of some sort has been a rumor that’s surrounded the current R8 (Mk2) from the very beginning. Audi never bothered investing in the previous car’s high-rev 4.2-liter V8 because it would have been prohibitively expensive to do so. Whereas the V10, an engine that’s also shared with the Lamborghini Huracan, could do more volume, the Audi RS 5 and RS 4 were planned to move away from the V8 for the cleaner and more efficient biturbo V6 co-developed by Porsche. As a result, the R8 made do with the V10 only for the first half of its production life.

Now, a facelift is on the way, and rumors have swirled again. Even better, this isn’t just journalist conjecture of what we’d like to see in the car. The source here (via AutoCar) is their own Greg Kable. Amongst the best European car journalists, Kable isn’t one to share info without confirming it with one of his many senior factory contacts first. If he’s reporting it, we tend to take it as gospel that it’s in the planning.

According to Kable, the engine is capable of 500 bhp and 500 lb-ft of torque. Even better, its fitment in the R8 could mean an even more affordable iteration of the car than the sharply priced rear-wheel drive Audi R8 RWS. Whereas the RWS came in and around $150,000 in the U.S. market, the previous-generation R8 V10 was down around $125,000. Where this new V6 biturbo could land is likely somewhere in between those two.

Check out more spy photos of this red test car and read more of Greg Kable’s intel after the jump to Autocar.