If you want the next R8 to come with a big gas V10, you're not the only one. The head of Audi Sport wants the car to keep a free-revving naturally aspirated engine too, according to a new interview.

Oliver Hoffman, managing director for Audi Sport, spoke with Autocar at the Nurburgring 24. "The V10 is an icon, and a USP within the segment,” he said. “With the current R8, our customers love this car. We are fighting for the V10, but [for the next-generation] it’s more or less a question of ICE or electrification, and which kind of engine is useful for it.”

It's been previously reported that the next R8 would be an EV when it arrived sometime around 2022, and that would mark the end of a V10 in an Audi. But it turns out that Lamborghini is much more hesitant to lose the combustion engine. Which Autocar says means there could be some limited-production V10 R8s alongside the electric ones.

“Lamborghini has to have a naturally-aspirated engine, no other brand stands for NA like Lamborghini," said Hoffmann. "We are working very close with the guys from Sant’Agata. The only way to develop such kinds of cars is to share the cost for development work and to have a very, very tough platform strategy. The [current] Lamborghini Huracan is based on the R8 platform, and this helps us - together with Lamborghini, with Porsche, with all the sporty brands in our group - to share the development costs."

Hoffman said that more extreme versions of the gas R8 could arrive. "We have some good ideas for a more extreme R8,” he said. “We know the powerful exterior design of our racing car is amazing. People want to drive this on the street." Surprisingly, Hoffman added that it's pedestrian safety, not a lack of internal support, as the challenge engineers need to overcome for such cars.

Carbon fibre front splitters must not be good for the ankles of people walking along the road. Audi Sport is also expected to preview a racing-inspired version at the Goodwood Festival of Speed next week.

[via Autocar ]