The Audi R8 supercar has impressed from the moment it was launched in 2006. Initially available as a V8, it was the later introduction of the V10 that pushed it from high-end sportscar into supercar territory.
Audi has now revealed details of the second-generation R8, which will officially debut at the Geneva Motor Show.
Two models will be available from launch, both powered by a naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10. Of course, the high-revving V10 retains its mid-engine configuration, its power deployed by the latest quattro drive system, which offers a fully variable torque split. In extreme cases, quattro can divert 100 per cent of drive to the front or rear axle. A seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission is standard.
The Audi R8 range will be topped by the 449kW plus, which hits 100km/h in 3.2sec before heading to a top speed of 330km/h. The ‘standard’ Audi R8 remains immensely powerful, producing 397kW.
The Audi R8 V10 plus is lighter than before, despite improved standard equipment and increased rigidity. With a dry weight of 1454kg it weights up to 50kg less than its predecessor. The extensive use of aluminium and carbon fibre-reinforced plastics have contributed to this weight saving. With these weight-saving materials and aero improvements, the new Audi R8 demonstrates close links with its endurance racing stablemates.
“With the new Audi R8, our engineers are bringing accumulated racing expertise from the race track onto the road. No other model of ours evokes more dynamic emotion. The new R8 V10 plus is therefore the most powerful and fastest series-production Audi of all time,” said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi.
Inside the Audi R8 uses the Audi virtual cockpit design which uses digital displays with the most important controls grouped together on the steering wheel.
It will be constructed at a bespoke facility, known as the ‘Böllinger Höfe’ site in Heilbronn, Germany.
In addition to the regular production Audi R8 and R8 plus, the latest R8 e-tron achieves 340kW and 920Nm, for 0-100km/h performance in 3.9sec. New battery cells have more than doubled the e-tron’s range, to 450km.
Of course, a new R8 LMS GT3 car is also in the works, designed to take advantage of the updated GT3 regulations due to come into effect in 2016. It is said to use around 50 per cent of the new road car’s components. Stay tuned for more details.