Dutch site Autobahn.eu got their hands on a picture showing Audi's product roadmap for 2017 and 2018. There is a lot of interesting details on this document, but the one that has caught everyone's eye is a R8 V6 for 2018. Questions have arisen as to why Audi is doing a V6 and what engine could it be. Some speculate that it could be due to China's tax on high-displacement engines. But we think the folks at Fouritude may have the right idea as to why.
Fouritude explains that the reason we got the 4.2L V8 in the last-generation R8 was due to the RS4 and RS5 having the same engine, thus boosting volume and help underwrite the development costs. The V6 could follow in the same way. They speculate the engine in question could be a biturbo V6 engine that will find its way under the hood of the next RS4, RS5, and possibly the R8.
What other vehicles can we glean from this picture?
Quite a few. We'll begin with 2017 and can pick out that the A5 lineup which includes the coupe, cabriolet, and a five-door sportback (think smaller A7). This makes sense as Audi has already introduced the new A4 which is the sister model to the A5. Next up are two RS models, the TT RS and RS3 sedan. We learned about both of these earlier in the week thanks to a leaked video.
Then we come to the crossovers. Audi will be introducing a second generation of the Q5, including the sporty SQ5. The Q7 also sees some new variants such as the SQ7 (much like the SQ5 with a more powerful engine, retuned suspension, and some tweaks to the body) and the Q7 e-tron hybrid. The European version of this hybrid model uses a diesel. It is unknown if the Q7 e-tron will retain the diesel or go with a gas engine when it comes to the U.S.
In 2018, Audi will be introducing the next-generation A6, A7, and A8. The high-performance RS5 will also be introduced. On the crossover front, Audi will introduce the Q8 which many believe will feature coupe-like styling to take on the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Coupe.