R8 V10 Tuning

"This might makes some people iR8!"

The R8 is a stunning piece of engineering we loved the V8 and now we have been treated to the mighty V10.

We did wonder what would fill the positively cavernous engine bay of the R8 and now we know.

Audi took the expertise they had from Lamborghini, used a detuned LP560 engine and created the masterpiece that is the R8 v10.

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I must say that I am totally biased and I think the R8 is one of the best cars around today! When you drive one you fully appreciate what it means to tame a supercar and flatter your driving style.

The V8 was good but the v10 is even better. What will Audi come up with next and is it possible to improve on the V10?

As Audi detuned the R8 V10 engine you will be wanting to get that power back and then add a little more so follow our tips to see how it is done.

Following our tips for tuning your R8 you can create a car that is every bit as good as it's exotic Lamborghini brother! The R8 v10 has been sourced from the Gallardo LP560-4 but was detuned to 'just' 518 bhp.

The high revving NA (naturally aspirated) engine is an engineering masterpiece. Rather than improve the block lets look first at some simple modifications.

Just because a tuning mods is popular with V10 5.2 FSI owners it doesn't mean you should fit it, instead we'll best tuning mods that will give your V10 5.2 FSI the best power gain for you money.

Altering your V10 5.2 FSI camshaft will make a dramatic difference to the engine power band. Choosing a higher performance camshaft profile raises the power band accordingly.

Fast road cams usually raise the power through the rpm range, you could sacrifice a little bottom end torque but your top end will be higher.

Competition cams, raise the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

In a car used daily you need to match your engines power to your typical driving style.

I'd be surprised if you have discovered that a Motorsport camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving around busy urban areas. This is because a competition cam causes a very lumpy idle, and makes the car more prone to stall or jerk along in stop start traffic, sadly though many ignore this and end up ruining a perfectly good car and having to revert back to a fast road, or OEM cam profile.

Each engine responds better to extreme camshaft durations so set your engine up on a rolling road.

The ECU mapping and fuel pump and injectors also have a large bearing on the bhp gains you'll achieve.

Altering valve durations can alter the bhp band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

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Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Remaps/piggy back ECU, Intake manifolds, Fast road camshaft, drilled & smoothed airboxPanel air filters, Sports exhaust header/manifold.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, high flow fuel injectors, Fast road cam, Ported and polished head, induction kit, fuel pump upgrades.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Engine balancing & blueprinting, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression, Competition cam, Twin charging conversions.

The V10 5.2 FSI power plant are fantastic to work on and we're pleased to see that there is a growing number of upgrades and tuning parts around.

Remaps helps release the full potential of all the parts you've fitted to your V10 5.2 FSI.

Apply a tune/remap and you will have cut down the gap between this and the LP560!

It is the whole point to any engine tuning job to shove more fuel and air into your V10 5.2 FSI

Intake flow the air during the suck phase from the air filter and allow it to be drawn into the engine and mixed with fuel.

Shape and flow rate of the Intake can make a large change to fuel mixing and power on the V10 5.2 FSI.

Most intake manifold are improved through a performance upgrade, although a few car makers provide well optimised intake manifold.

Big valve conversions on the V10 5.2 FSI, doing some port matching and head flowing will also lift performance, and significantly will give you a greater performance increase on other mods.

Turbo upgrades

NA (naturally aspirated) engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your V10 5.2 FSI

The more air to get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes massive power gains.

If the engine is turbocharged, upgrades are going to make more power and turbo engines will have more solid components.

However most engines have limits

It is important to find these limits and fit forged components to cope with the power.

We see many people spending a lots of money on turbo upgrades on the V10 5.2 FSI only to watch the engine block throw a rod when it's used in anger.

Larger turbos commonly experience low end lag, and small turbos spool up quickly but do not have the peak rpm torque gains.

Thankfully the market of turbo chargers is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbo chargers, where the vane angle is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end bhp and torque.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust flow into a couple of channels and feed these at differently profiled vanes in the turbo charger. They also help the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is common that there is a restriction in the air flow sensor MAF/MAP on these engines when a lot more air is being sucked into the engine.

We note 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting torque at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although more difficult to install. We have a twincharger bhp adding guide if you want to read more.


When you lift the bhp and torque you will need to pay attention to the fuel delivery.

More bhp and torque needs more fuel. We would recommend you to over specify your flow rate on the injectors.

The accepted safe increase is to add 20% capacity when specifying an injector, helps cope with injector deterioration and allows a bit of spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.


R8 Tuning

Audi R8 V8 Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Some R8 owners borrow parts from Lamborghini engine by way of the intake ports and airfilter housing. With such a well designed airbox out there TorqueCars see no point in adding an induction kit or aftermarket kit. But there are a few tuning houses offering a complete power upgrade kit.

Pay close attention to the manifold shape and you will have closed the gap between this and the Lambo engine it was based on.

As we have already stated though you will benefit from different exhaust headers and this will increase the flow rate from the engine allowing it to make a little more power.

For the more adventurous you could consider a complete strip down and rebuild of the engine. As the V10is still pretty new and is already very nicely designed there does seem little point unless you really want to squeeze out every drop of power.

Gas flowing the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools.

You may need to boost your exhaust if the current exhaust is creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll find the exhaust flow rate is still fine even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts equal out the flow of air through the engine.

But if the exhaust pipe is too big, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the exhaust flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Common exhaust restrictions can be traced to the filters installed, so adding a better flowing sports alternative is the answer. This keeps the car road legal and will flow much better due to it's higher internal surface area and design, so has the added benefit of keeping your car road legal. The alternative decat should be considered an off road only mod, as removing a catalyst is illegal in most territories and regions for road registered cars..

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss R8 V8 options in more detail with our R8 V8 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Audi tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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