(www.autoinsidernews.com) - Audi has invested a significant amount of time and money to develop its R8 sports car, and the automaker is planning for additional variants to keep excitement and sales high. Rumors of a drop top version have been around nearly as long as rumors of the R8 itself. According to Autovisie, it will be produced and will be called the R8 Spyder and when it debuts sometime in 2008.
It should surprise no one that Audi is working on future power upgrades, with the current 420-hp 4.2L V8 being replaced or supplemented by the 5.2L V10, born at Lamborghini and also used in the S6 and S8 sedans. The R8's 5.2L V10 will at least be the 450-hp version used the S8, but don't be suprised if it comes with over 500-hp like the Lamborghini Gallardo. Audi may also consider an RS8 version, sporting a 600-hp twin-turbocharged version of the V10, but that's likely to be pure speculation.
One other engine possibility that should come as no surprise would be a version of the 6.0L V12 TDI diesel also used in the Q7 SUV. We know that a diesel-powered R8 is a top goal of Wolfgang Hatz, Audi's executive director of powertrain development. And, according to senior board members, while it isn't approved, Audi is working on a diesel version of its R8 sports car.