The second generation Audi R8 debuts in Geneva with more style, added power and even greater capability. While its form may be familiar, the automaker’s mid-engine supercar has been remade from the ground up and now incorporates new design, engineering and technology from Audi’s successful racing programs. In its most potent R8 V10 Plus form, this exhilarating two-seater is simply “the most powerful and fastest series-production Audi of all time.”
Similar in size to the original, the new Audi R8 is slightly wider — to accommodate increased track dimensions – and benefits from a tasteful reshaping of its aluminium bodywork and carbon fiber accents that give it a more powerful, elegant appearance. Up front, the reshaped single frame grille is flanked by restyled LED headlamps – which can be upgraded to Audi’s laser-spec units in markets where they’re legal – and outboard air intakes that now feature vertical channelling elements. The redesign also introduces a new split-form side air blade adds texture to the R8’s profile while the tail has bolder rear lamps, reconfigured exhaust outlets and a new difuser. An auto-deploying spoiler is standard on the R8 V10 while the R8 V10 Plus is fitted with fixed wing made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic.
Lighter yet Stronger Structure
Beneath its skin, the R8 features a new Audi Space Frame that uses carbon fiber to further enhance the stiffness. This multi-material construction trims roughly 110 pounds from the weight of the core structure while increasing its rigidity by some 40 percent. The R8’s chassis retains its aluminium-intensive double-wishbone design which benefits from weight-saving tweaks. New electromechanical power steering complements the standard Audi Drive Select dynamic handling system which equipped with adaptive magnetic shocks and speed-variable dynamic steering. The R10’s lightweight steel brakes give way to lighter carbon-ceramic super stoppers on the V10 Plus while its 19-inch alloys wrapped in sticky 245/35-front and 295/35-rear tires are replaced by on the Plus model by 20-inch alternatives wearing 245/30 and 305/30 rubber.
More Power, More Efficiency and More Fun
The 5.2-liter naturally aspirated FSI V10 in both of these new Audi R8 models has been significantly revised to include a new dual-mode (direct and indirect) fuel-injection, a racing-style dry-sump lubrication system as well as cylinder-deactivation and start/stop technology. The result boosts output and reduces fuel consumption by roughly 10 percent compared to the previous iteration. In the R8 V10, the engine is tuned to make 532 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, giving it a 0-62 mph sprint time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 201 mph. The R8 V10 Plus version cranks out 601 ponies – identical to the engine in its corporate cousin, the Lamborghini Huracan – and 413 lb-ft of twist. The Plus accelerates to 62 mph in 3.2 ticks and tops out at 205 mph.
Both R8 models are fitted with a 7-speed paddle-shift S tronic automatic transmission that includes launch control and a fuel-saving coasting mode. Rounding out the mix is the latest version of Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive that replaces the existing viscous clutch on the front axle with an electrohydraulic multi-plate clutch and now allows unrestricted and variable torque distribution to either axle depending on available traction. While the V10 and V10 Plus will be the only R8 models available at launch, Audi confirmed that a new R8 e-tron electric variant with twice as much power and nearly 280 miles of per-charge range is in the pipeline. A V8 version of the R8 also is expected at some point for at least several world markets.
The R8’s driver-focused cabin deftly interweaves competition character with luxury refinements, starting with two kinds model-specific sport seats and a Multifunction Plus Performance steering wheel that also adds additional capability on the R8 V10 Plus model. Like all new Audis, the R8 is fitted with the automaker’s configurable Virtual Cockpit instrumentation. Other standard touches include the MMI controller, navigation and Audi Connect with a Wi-Fi hotspot. In addition to standard Alcantara/Nappa leather or pure Nappa interior appointments, the new R8 will offer numerous interior and exterior trim options, including a bespoke Matte Camouflage Green for the R8 V10 Plus. The 2016 Audi R8 V10 lineup will arrive in showrooms here next January. Pricing will be announced closer to the official on-sale date.