Audi RS4, A1, S5 and R8 V10 details

Published: 14 July 2008

The next Audi RS4 will be supercharged, the R8’s V10 will be naturally aspirated and we won’t be seeing an Audi that’s smaller than the A1 supermini any time soon. That’s all according to a high-placed Audi source that CAR sat down with at the recent Q5 4×4 launch. Read on for everything our source had to say about Audi’s secret new model programme.

So tell me everything you found out about future Audis…

Let’s start with the smallest car, the A1. It’s due in 2010 and will eventually be available as a convertible and off-roader, alongside the regular three- and five-door hatches.

Our source calls it Audi’s ‘Mini-killer’ but adamantly says the A1 will not have retro styling. It’ll share its platform with forthcoming Polo, which means the A1 uses the same underpinnings as the new Seat Ibiza. Which makes us think that Audi has some work to do if it wants to match the Mini dynamically…

Will there be anything smaller than an A1 in this oil-sensitive age? Apparently not. Audi has no plans for anything smaller than its supermini until at least 2013.

But the A3 range will grow; Audi is still expanding the A3 range, and next we’ll see the Q3 based on the Cross Coupe Quattro concept.

Click ‘Next’ below to read about the supercharged RS4

What about this forced-induction RS4 then?

The big news is that the next RS4 will get the same 3.0-litre supercharged V6 that will power the S4. When asked whether the market would accept the reduction in cylinder count, our source shrugged, pointing out that the original RS4 was a forced-induction V6 and only when Audi produced the current V8 RS4 did the market follow suit. ‘They [BMW, Mercedes, Lexus] have followed, but now we will go back.’

Why the supercharged V6? ‘We want a high torque figure at low rpm,’ our engineering mole said. But there won’t be an additional turbo or two blowers, as either set-up would be too complex and not worth the extra gain.

Don’t worry though, because our source says the RS4 will be very sporty indeed. And having changed many people’s preconceptions with the outgoing RS4 and latest R8, there’s a will in Ingolstadt to keep the bar raised high.

What’s all this about the S5?

We’ve recently driven the S5 S-tronic, but Audi won’t be producing it just yet. Apparently just ten S5 prototypes with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission have been produced to showcase the transmission. However, the S-tronic ‘box is supposed to be sporty and the S5 is all about comfort. That means it will stick with a conventional automatic for now. But we will find the seven-speed ‘box in the S4 and RS4, though manual gearboxes will also be available.

There’s not much chance of the S5 getting the supercharged V6 either; apparently Audi sells a high percentage of S5s within the A5 sales mix, and the V8 suits the comfort-oriented nature of the car.

Click ‘Next’ below to read about this autumn’s hot new V10-powered R8

Anything else?

The V10-engined R8 we’ll see this autumn will apparently be naturally aspirated. When questioned about the R8 using the twin-turbo engine from the RS6, our source denied this. ‘No, it will use the engine from the S6 and S8.’

And a V12 TDI R8? Not a chance. The engine is apparently too big and heavy, and even if Audi wanted a diesel R8, apparently the V8 TDI could do everything the V12 can.

Which begs the question why is Audi producing a V12 TDI Q7 later in 2008? With just 1500 or so expected to be sold each year, apparently it’s just an image thing.

What about a smaller R8?

A possibility. We’ve reported before about an R4 and our source confirmed that despite Audi offering the TT and R8, there is still room in Audi’s model line-up for more ‘R’ sports cars.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy