Lamborghini getting a turbo-and-supercharged 5-cylinder?

Lamborghini getting a turbo-and-supercharged 5-cylinder?

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Photo: Caranddriver

Word on the street is that a supercharged-and-turbocharged five-cylinder versions of the Lamborghini Huracán and Audi R8 just might be on the way? Based on comments made recently by Audi technical boss Ulrich Hackenberg, as well as the appearance of an Audi TT Clubsport Turbo concept with just such an engine at the VW Group festival at Wörthersee.

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Photo: Caranddriver

Both the Huracán and the R8 are powered by 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V-10 engines and neither of them offers an alternative, with Audi Quattro GmbH boss Heinz Peter Hollerweger confirming at an R8 pre-launch event that there would not be a V-8 version of the second-generation supercar.

Lamborghini president Stephan Winkelmann has acknowledged, however, that Asian tax laws have made life difficult for big-engined supercars. Hackenberg also added that both the Lamborghini Huracán and the Audi R8 would have to adopt a smaller, boosted engine to fulfill their sales potential, especially in China.

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Photo: Caranddriver

At 2.5 liters, it would cut cleanly through the tax laws enacted by the Chinese in March of 2013, which include an annual consumption tax on cars that rises with engine capacities. Above 2.0 liters, the tax jumps to nine percent and continues on a linear scale to 40 percent for engines of 4.0 liters and above. That would make it pointless for the Huracán and the R8 to adopt the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 from the RS7 and other VW Group vehicles, as such models would draw roughly the same consumption tax as the existing V-10s.

“Electric boosting would be necessary for any smaller motor, even if it’s turbocharged,” Quattro GmbH’s Hollerweger said. That would dictate 48-volt electrical systems and a lithium-ion battery pack to generate enough energy to help the internal-combustion engine. But using electrification to give a leg up to smaller internal-combustion engines comes at a price—both in cost and in weight, which is the traditional enemy of supercars. “The problem with electric boosting is that this type of battery is much heavier and the weight disadvantage of the battery has to be countered by the performance gain,” Hollerweger admitted.

But there’s another issue for any smaller-engine Huracán or R8. At this month’s RS3 launch, Quattro GmbH engineering boss Stephan Reil categorically stated there was no approved development project to slip a lesser motor in Audi’s flagship sports car.

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