Audi’s second-generation R8 may offer a TDI diesel variant in 2016

The second-generation Audi R8 is quite the conversation piece.

For the last few years, pundits and enthusiasts have rumored all-electric versions, four-banger versions, and even versions augmented with laser beams. Don’t worry, they’re just headlights.

The latest report from Top Speed is not too far-fetched though; they report Audi is considering a TDI version of its striking supercar.

Audi has fitted turbodiesel powertrains onto high-performance vehicles in the past, such as the RS5 TDI Concept, the standard version of which featured the R8’s 4.2-liter V8. Volkswagen Group TDIs also appeared in the R8-based Nanuk Quattro Concept and the R8 V12 TDI Concept, so it isn’t too much of a stretch to imagine the next-gen R8 getting one for production.

Volkswagen Group is currently producing two options that would be fitting for the next R8: a 4.2-liter TDI V8 making 335 horsepower/561 pound-feet of torque and an upcoming 5.0-liter TDI V10 with no official power output yet. However, 2013’s twin-turbo Nanuk Quattro had a 5.0-liter TDI V10 that put out 544 hp and 737 lb-ft, so expect the new unit to fall somewhere around there. No word if the diesels will feature the electric turbos from the RS5 concept, though.

As far as gas engines go, the 4.2-liter, 414-hp FSI V8 from the first-gen R8 is still fairly new (it made its first appearance in 2007) so the second-gen R8 will likely feature a retuned version. The 5.2-liter, 525-hp V10 is even newer, having birthed in its latest form in 2008.

Along with the rumored TDI powerplant, Audi is planning an all-electric, e-tron version of the R8 for 2015 in Europe. If ideas like these come to fruition, the R8 may become one of the most well-rounded supercars ever. The e-tron boasts a 280-mile range and a 4.2 second 0 to 60 mph time.

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