“Considering that 50% of the components are shared with the R8 LMS GT3 and 60% with the R8 LMS GT4, no other series car is so close to a race car than the R8”. This is what Oliver Hoffmann, Director of Technical Development at Audi Sport GmbH, says about the new supercar from Ingolstadt, the latest development of a model that first saw the light in 2007 and that, year after year, has become one of Germany’s icons of four-wheeled performance. The new R8 confirms its exceptional heritage, with its incredible sensitivity to pressure on the accelerator pedal, and the unique, hyper-exciting sound from the naturally-aspirated V10 engine that seems to be perpetually set on reaching its 8,700 rpm cut-off. It is a totally different experience when compared to turbocharged power plants. The engine is centrally-positioned behind the driver, and it is available in two power options: 570 bhp and 560 Nm torque, or 620 bhp and 580 Nm.
Audi R8 permanent quattro
It is a very compact engine, with a separate radiator for cooling the oil, and dry-sump lubrification with variable-flow pumps. This system is derived from racing technology, and it reduces the vertical dimensions of the engine, enabling the unit to be positioned lower, improving the vehicle’s centre of gravity. The pump produces a constant oil flow in any situation, even during the 1.5g lateral accelerations that can be reached by the R8. The V10’s power is controlled by the permanent quattro drive with slightly rear-biased power delivery, and a passive limited-slip rear differential and water-cooled front differential. The 7-speed S-tronic transmission is standard. The suspension provides benchmark stability and precision. Power steering is electromechanical, with a dynamic system available as an option.
In terms of design, when compared to the previous generation, the car looks sharper, with a wider single-frame front grille, and two vertical framing elements subdividing the front air intakes. There are three narrow slits under the front edge of the bonnet, a reference to the legendary Audi Ur-quattro. The new splitter has a larger surface, and the extractor vents and the openings under the rear lights are also larger. The rear vent now extends right across the back, from one oval exhaust terminal to the other. Regarding performance, in its most powerful configuration the R8 Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and can reach 331 km/h, while the Spyder is a fraction slower at 3.2 seconds and 329 km/h. Prices start at 179,800 euro for the Coupé and 193,100 euro for the Spyder, reaching 197,600 euro and 210,900 euro respectively for the Performance versions.