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Audi has confirmed the 4.0-litre V8 engine, which resides in its RS6 among other high-performance models in its line-up, will live on beyond the current generation.
“The current car has mild-hybrid tech, cylinder deactivation - it’s in the middle of its lifecycle and it will continue until the end. Will we see another V8 twin turbo? Yes, we will, so we can confirm that, and it will sit at the top of our range somewhere,” he said.
But it’s not as though the brand isn’t aware of emissions regulations, and Audi’s own electrification mandates bearing down.
“It will probably last until EU7 regulations begin. That engine is already future-proofed for that - so it will continue until the end of several model cycles,” Dale said.
“We’ve announced there will be no more ICE development past 2026, and our last ICE will be produced in 2033 - we’ve got a decade there, so that’s another whole model lifecycle.”
The EU7 regulations, set to come into force in July 2025, will tighten the vice further on combustion-engined vehicles, and will start to increase the restrictions beyond tailpipe emissions to cover brake dust and tyre particulate.
The proposed new regulations also mandate durability for electric vehicles in order to reduce the need for replacing batteries early in the lifecycle of a vehicle, and reduce the raw materials required to electrify cars.
While the new rules were designed to target nitrous oxide and particulate emissions more than carbon emissions as the Euro 6 regulations did, it has faced opposition from some EU member states like France, Italy and the Czech Republic, who said the proposed limits would be too harmful for their economies, and distract from development work on electric vehicles to make current and planned combustion vehicles continue to comply.
As a result, an amended version of the regulations leave Euro 6 emissions limits and test conditions the same in the move to Euro 7 for light vehicles, although they will become stricter for heavy commercial vehicles. The particulate limits on brakes and tyres will reportedly go ahead, according to Reuters.
Not only has Audi committed to the V8, but has even updated it for the 2024 RS6 to have an increase in power, to a total of 463kW/850Nm. The 4.0-litre engine also features in the RS7, RS Q8, SQ7 and S8, all of which feature an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
Several brands, even those previously famous for V8 engines like Chrysler and Dodge, have already started to end production of versions of their vehicles equipped with eight-cylinder powerplants as current-generation nameplates come to an end.
Famously, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz C63 will swap its V8 engine for a hybridised 2.0-litre four-cylinder plug-in hybrid set-up, while even the mighty Toyota LandCruiser has downsized its 4.5-litre turbo diesel V8 for a 3.3-litre V6.