After yesterday’s premature leak of an official photo, Audi finally lifted the wraps off the new R8.
The V10 mid-engine supercar is up to 50kg lighter than its predecessor, with the top-of-the-range V10 Plus scoring 1454kg, thanks to the new Audi Space Frame chassis which combines aluminium and carbon fibre reinforced plastics in its construction, something we’ve seen already in its Italian cousin.
An updated 5.2-litre V10 engine, available with two outputs, will be the only choice during the launch. The first version makes 540hp and 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque while the V10 Plus scores a very healthy 610hp and 560 Nm (413.0 lb-ft) of torque, allowing it to accelerate from zero to 62mph (0-100km/h) in 3.2 seconds, 0-124mph (0-200km/h) in 9.9 seconds and it will keep going until it reaches 205mph-330km/h. The 540hp version sprints to 62mph from standstill in 3.5 seconds and it can reach a top speed of 201mph (323km/h).
According to Audi the updated V10 now features an additional indirect injection to compliment the direct injection, making the engine to use less fuel and produce more power. A Cylinder-On-Demand system is also present, shutting one of the two cylinder banks in light throttle loads, further improving the fuel efficiency. The R8 V10 averages 11.8 lt/100km (19.9 US mpg) with CO2 emissions of 275 gr/km. For the R8 V10 plus those values are 12.4 lt/100km (19.0 US mpg) and 289 gr/km. Compared to the previous model, the new R8 is using less fuel up to 10 percent, also due to the new start-stop system.
Gone is the option of the manual gearbox with the 7-speed S-Tronic transmission to be the only one to choose from. This is combined with a newly developed Quattro system which can distribute the torque according to the respective driving conditions, sending up to 100% of the torque in a single axle in some extreme cases.
The driver has now the choice of four driving modes (comfort, auto, dynamic and individual) through Audi’s drive select dynamic handling system. The standard system takes into account the engine characteristics, steering, S tronic transmission and quattro drive system as well as optional extras such as Audi magnetic ride, the exhaust flaps and dynamic steering.
Audi’s virtual cockpit, first seen on the new TT is here, allowed the designers to create a more minimalistic interior, with all the information needed in front of the driver. Details like the three-dimensional designed air vents are set to remind “the air inlets of a race car”.
The all-electric brother
Audi will also reveal next to the gasoline R8s an all-electric version of its supercar, the R8 e-tron. Equipped with a large T-shaped 92 kWh battery, structurally integrated into the center tunnel and behind the occupant cell, the electric R8 achieves a range of 450km (280 miles). The R8 e-tron is equipped with a Combined Charging System (CCS), which allows charging with direct and alternating current and according to the Germans, the time for the battery to be fully charged is less than two hours.
According to the press release,”the power is now twice 170 kW and the maximum torque twice 460 Nm (339.3 lb-ft)” which means that the R8 e-tron has either two electric motors with 230hp and 460 Nm (339.3 lb-ft) of torque each, or one (?) making it capable for a 0-62mph in 3.9sec and a restricted top speed of -and we quote here- 210 km/h (130.5 mph) or 250 km/h (155.3 mph). With targeted modifications to the outer shell and on the wheels, the Audi R8 e‑tron achieves an aerodynamic drag coefficient (cd) value of 0.28.
Audi says that they produce the battery cell themselves and they will use the R8 e-tron as a mobile laboratory with “the findings to help in creating a vehicle with a sedan character.” Did someone say Tesla rival?