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November 09, 2012

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The Audi R8 – ultra-lightweight and sharper than ever

Ingolstadt, Germany - Audi is making its R8 high-performance sports car sharper and more attractive than ever. The S tronic makes its debut in the model series, which is now topped by the new R8 V10 plus. The R8 is the sporty spearhead of the Audi model lineup. Now the high-performance sports car is more dynamic than ever, with the S tronic transmission and new features on the exterior, in the cabin and for the brakes.

All models now come standard with all-LED headlights. The rear lights mark the premiere of another dynamic innovation: dynamic turn signals. The powerful new R8 V10 plus with 404 kW (550 hp) sprints from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.5 seconds. Thanks to Audi ultra lightweight construction, the top-of-the-line model with a manual transmission has a curb weight of just 1,570 kilograms (3,461.26 lb).

The reshuffled R8 lineup comprises two body styles – Coupé and Spyder – and three engines. The standard sprint times for both models equipped with the new seven-speed S tronic have improved by 0.3 seconds while fuel consumption has been reduced by as much as 0.9 liters per 100 km (22 grams CO2 per km [35.41 g/mile]).



The eight-cylinder engine powering the Audi R8 V8 delivers 316 kW (430 hp) and 430 Nm (317.15 lb-ft) of torque, the latter between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm. In combination with the seven-speed S tronic, it accelerates the R8 Coupé from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 300 km/h (186.41 mph). The Audi R8 V10 with the S tronic completes the standard sprint in 3.6 seconds and has a top speed of 314 km/h (195.11 mph). The ten-cylinder engine produces 386 kW (525 hp) and delivers 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft at 6,500 rpm.

At the top of the model range is the new R8 V10 plus with 404 kW (550 hp) and 540 Nm (398.28 lb-ft) of torque. Equipped with the S tronic, it accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 317 km/h (196.97 mph). The new top model is only available as a Coupé.


Besides the six-speed manual, the new seven-speed S tronic, which replaces the R tronic used previously, is also available. It is standard in all V10 models. The fast-shifting dual-clutch transmission features a launch control function that provides optimal traction when starting. Power is delivered to the road via the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with a rear-axle bias.

All versions of the R8 feature an axle load distribution of roughly 43:57 – ideal for a mid-engine sports car. Dry sump lubrication enables the engines to be mounted low, giving the vehicle a very low center of gravity. All of the wheels are mounted on aluminum double wishbones. The setup is tuned for high dynamics, yet delivers good comfort. The adaptive damping system Audi magnetic ride (standard in the R8 V10) adapts the response of the shock absorbers to the requirements of the driver and the road. The chassis of the Audi R8 V10 is decidedly tuned for dynamics. A special configuration including modified spring/damper tuning with a corresponding adjustment of the camber values at the front axle provides for even more dynamic handling.

The alloy wheels, which measure 18 or 19 inches in diameter depending on the engine, come in a variety of new designs. The brakes are incredibly powerful. All four discs are internally vented and perforated, and their wave design reduces the weight. Audi also offers optional carbon fiber-ceramic discs that are even lighter, yet extremely durable and long-lasting. These are standard with the R8 V10 plus.

ultra lightweight construction: base vehicle weight of 1,560 kilograms (3,439.21 lb) Audi is demonstrating its expertise in ultra lightweight construction technology with the updated R8. The R8 V8 with the six-speed manual gearbox (without a driver) tips the scales at just 1,560 kilograms (3,439.21 lb); the R8 V10 plus with the manual transmission weighs 1,570 kilograms (3,461.26). The Audi engineers have reduced the weight of the top model by roughly 50 kilograms (110.23 lb).

The most important component in the ultra lightweight construction concept of the Audi R8 is the body. An aluminum Audi Space Frame, it weighs just 210 kilograms (462.97 lb), roughly 40 percent less than a comparable steel structure. The body of the R8 Spyder with its electrohydraulically actuated cloth top weighs 216 kilograms (476.20 lb). The ASF body lays the foundation for the dynamic, precise and safe handling and high passive safety.

The exterior design has been honed ever further. The restructured all-LED headlights and rear lights are standard with all models. The Singleframe grille with tapered corners at the top, the redesigned diffuser and the large, round tailpipes are the most eye-catching new features. The diffuser of the R8 V10 plus features a different geometry and is made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. The rear lights of all models include dynamic turn signals, a worldwide first from Audi. Produced by LEDs, the turn signal runs from the inside out in the direction in which the driver wants to turn.

Many bolt-on body parts of the R8 Spyder and R8 V10 plus are made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP). The same material is also used in the interior of the top model. The driver and passenger sit in bucket seats with folding backrests. The interior of all versions of the high-performance sports car is now even more refined. With the honeycomb-quilted Fine Nappa full-leather package, the seat covers and inserts in the door liners are quilted. This quilting is also available as an option for the Alcantara headlining.

The updated Audi R8, which is built in a quattro GmbH factory in Neckarsulm, is scheduled to launch in Europe toward the end of the year. The base price in Germany is €113,500.

Photos: Audi


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