Audi reveals new R8 supercar:

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We’ve seen two different leaks and Audi teasing us with a peak at the new R8’s laser headlamps, but Audi has just revealed the 2nd generation R8 supercar in V10 and V10+ guise ahead of the Geneva Motor Show next month.  The V10 is back and badder than ever in Audi’s range-topper.


Based on the same chassis as the Lamborghini Huracan, the aluminium/carbon fibre hybrid chassis is lighter and stiffer than the previous R8.  The R8 also gets the Huracan’s 5.2-litre V10 engine, mid-mounted and driving all 4 wheels.  However the R8 no longer plays second fiddle to the Lamborghini sister-car in the power stakes – the V10 engine has been released in 2 variants, V10 and V10+, the latter of which boasts an identical 449kW and 560Nm to the Lambo, whilst the former outputs 397kW and 540Nm.


The R8 features a dry weight of 1454Kg for the V10 Plus model, and in combination with quattro AWD, 449kW, and a 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, the V10 Plus is capable of sprinting the 0-100km/h dash in 3.2 seconds, whilst the 397kW variant completes the same dash in 3.5 seconds.  The V10 Plus impresses with a 0-200km/h time of 9.9 seconds, and a top speed of 330km/h (the lower spec. tops out at 323km/h).  Peak torque on both models is reached at 6500rpm.


The R8 hasn’t gone soft, thankfully, and can be equipped with a performance exhaust for even more noise-making from the V10 engine.  But despite its hard-edged demeanour, Audi claim the supercar can still achieve consumption figures of 11.8l/100km – if you believe that.


The R8 features Audi drive select, with adjustable magnetic ride shock absorbers available as an option.  Audi claim the R8 is capable of being used in a refined, comfortable manner, as well as being more hardcore and sporty when necessary.  Standard fit on the new R8 is an electro-mechanical power steering setup, with a variable ratio unit available as an option.


Visually, the new R8 departs little from the old model.  Unsurprisingly, or disappointingly so, the R8’s smooth curves have been redrawn as sharp lines with harder edges and more aggressive angles.  The rear roofline has been changed too, seemingly taking cues from the Bugatti Veyron’s roofline.  The R8’s famous side-blade design elements have been eradicated on the new model; whilst the R8 retains side air intakes, they are limited to only the lower portion of the car, without the black design element extending to the roof.  New design elements added to the R8 include front blade air intakes below the new headlamps, with a mirrored design element on the rear bumper.  Round tailpipes are also a thing of the past with new trapezoidal pipes positioned on either side of an aggressive rear diffuser.  The V10 Plus features a fixed rear wind for additional downforce.  The low, wide aggression of the R8 is finished off with 19-inch alloy wheels shod in 245/35 profile tyres at the front and 295/35 profile rubber at the rear.  Optional 20-inch wheels are available, with widened 305/30 rear rubber.  The wheels house steel brake discs, which can be opted up to carbon ceramic discs.


Inside, the R8 has been largely upgraded over the last model.  The driver controls usually located behind the wheel have all been wheel-mounted now for unobstructed access to the gear-shift paddles, whilst the R8 adopts the Huracan’s virtual cockpit display – also seen in the Audi TT.  Newly designed sports seats are standard fit to improve lateral support, whilst those who want even more support can opt for newly developed bucket seats.


Whilst the design may not be radically different from the old car, the engineering beneath the surface should greatly improve the way the R8 drives.  The retention of the naturally aspirated V10 engine is a joy for petrolhead enthusiasts, and we can expect a reworked version of the 4.2-litre V8 engine to arrive at a later date.


Audi has also stated that the new R8 will form the basis for two additional models, an R8 e-tron, which will feature a 450Km range and boast outputs of 340kW and 920Nm.  The R8 e-tron will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.  The 2nd future variant the R8 forms the basis for will be the new R8 LMS race car for the GT3 race series.  The LMS weighs a measly 1225Kg, with the V10’s output reduced to 430kW.

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