Road tests 14.7.2016 02:47 pm

The Audi stable’s R8 rock star

The V10 plus is the fastest production Audi to date with a 0-100 figure of 3.2s

The all new Audi R8 is the most powerful and fastest production Audi ever built. Designed for maximum dynamism in all of its technical aspects – from its Audi Space Frame (ASF) to its aerodynamics and newly developed quattro all-wheel drive. The naturally-aspirated V10 mid-engine guarantees tremendous performance, especially in the V10 Plus version sporting 449 kW.

The new Audi R8 is available with two engine derivatives – with 397 kW for the R8 V10 and 449 kW for the R8 V10 plus. Their maximum engine torque – 540 Nm and 560 Nm respectively – is available at 6 500 rpm for both engines. Compared to the previous model, power has increased considerably, and the responsiveness of the high-revving (up to 8 700 rpm), naturally aspirated 5.2-litre engine is now even more spontaneous. Like a race car engine, the V10 engine has dry sump lubrication. Its characteristic sound is now even fuller, with an optional sports exhaust system also available for order.

AudiR8 V10

The new V10 engine was given effective efficiency technologies such as the cylinder on demand system, which shuts off one row of cylinders under low load conditions. Another is dual injection, which injects the fuel into the combustion chambers and induction manifold according to demand. When the driver takes his foot off the accelerator pedal at speeds over 55 km/h, the new R8 goes into a coasting mode. When the car comes to a stop, a start-stop system deactivates the V10 engine.

Audi claim figures for the V10 from 0 to 100km/h in just 3.5 seconds, and a top speed of 320 km/h. For the V10 plus, the fastest production Audi to date, the figures are 3.2 seconds and 330km/h, and it takes just 9.9 seconds to sprint from 0 to 200 km/h.

Positioned behind the V10 is a seven-speed S tronic that executes lightning-fast gear shifts by electrical control (shift-by-wire). The dual-clutch transmission directs forces to a newly designed quattro drive system with an electrohydraulically activated multi-plate clutch at the front axle. It has active water cooling for maximum performance. The clutch distributes drive torque fully variably according to the driving situation – up to 100 percent can be directed to either the front or rear wheels.

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Management of the clutch is integrated in the Audi drive select dynamic driving system, and it gives the driver a choice between the basic modes comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. On the R8 V10 plus (and as an option for the V10), the performance mode comes with three additional modes: dry, wet and snow. They adapt key handling parameters to the friction coefficient of the road surface. A mechanical rear differential lock is standard; its locking values were newly tuned to work together with the actively controlled quattro drive.

On the V10 plus, the suspension tuning is very sporty and electronically controlled shock absorbers (Audi magnetic ride) are available as an option in both engine versions.

The new electromechanical power steering system can be replaced by dynamic steering, which adapts its steering gear ratio to the vehicle’s driving speed.

In both engine versions, the new Audi R8 has standard 19-inch wheels, and 20-inch wheels with size 245/30 tyres in front and 305/30 at the rear available as an option. In the top model brake disks are made of carbon-fibre ceramic (optional on the R8 V10).

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Besides integrating the quattro drive system, the Audi drive select system also integrates other systems into its four basic modes: the accelerator pedal, steering, S tronic, damper control (optional), dynamic steering (optional) and the flaps of the exhaust system. In the dry, wet and snow performance modes, the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) system is also managed.

In the top model, the R8 V10 plus, the unladen weight (without driver) is only 1 555 kg, and the dry weight is a low 1 454 kg. Playing a decisive role in this systematic lightweight design concept is the Audi Space Frame (ASF), which weighs just 200 kg thanks to a new type of multimaterial construction. It comprises 79 percent aluminium and 13 percent CFRP.

The aluminium parts create a framework that integrates large CFRP components – the centre tunnel, rear wall and B-pillars. On the R8 V10 plus, add-on parts such as the sideblades and diffuser are made of CRFP, which complements the lightweight alloy exterior skin. Compared to the previous model, the multimaterial ASF has 40 percent greater torsional rigidity, and its acoustics and crashworthiness also get top grades.

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As in a race car, the aerodynamic concept of the new Audi R8 is designed primarily for driving stability. Its central element is a long and wide diffuser in the underbody. On the R8 V10 plus, a total of 140 kg of downforce is generated at top speed.

As an option, Audi can deliver LED headlights with laser spots that double the range of the high-beam headlights.

All important functions can be controlled without drivers taking their hands off the steering wheel or looking away from the road. The R8 sport leather steering wheel with multifunction plus, which is standard on the R8 V10, integrates two satellite buttons for starting and stopping the engine and for Audi drive select.

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