Audi R8, Lamborghini Huracan could get five-cylinder engine

The company\'s 2.5-liter prototype engine uses a pair of electric compressors to produce 600 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque.

Audi is reportedly considering a five-cylinder engine for future versions of the R8 and Lamborghini Huracan.

Although a V8 or V6 engine would provide efficiency gains and help minimize displacement-based taxes in some markets, Audi appears to be looking even further down the road by exploring the absolute smallest engines that could be tuned to meet output figures from the current V10.

The company earlier this month unveiled the TT Clubsport Turbo concept, which serves as a preview of future engine technology. It is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, taking advantage of dual electrically-driven compressors for 600 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque from 3,000 to 7,000 rpm.

The Huracan's comparatively enormous 5.2-liter V10 delivers just one extra pony and 63 fewer lb-ft of twist. The latest R8, now available exclusively with a V10, produces up to 610 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque in 'plus' trim.

Audi has previously promised to bring electric compressors to production cars. The technology uses electric motors to spool compressors at low rpm, virtually eliminating lag before the exhaust-driven turbochargers kick in. The company will implement a 48-volt alternator and lithium-ion batteries to help power the system.

"Electric boosting would be necessary for any smaller motor, even if it's turbocharged," Audi Quattro head Heinz Peter Hollerweger told Car and Driver. "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."

Switching to a smaller engine is said to be particularly important in China, where vehicles with engines larger than 4.0-liters are hit with a 40-percent consumption tax.

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