“Born on the track, built for the road.” The volume-production model now follows after the world premiere of the R8 LMS GT3 at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Apart from the sportier design, the Audi R8 Coupé and Spyder have more powerful engines. The models will go on sale in Europe in early 2019.
“The R8 occupies a unique position for Audi in every respect,” says Michael-Julius Renz, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “It’s now even more powerful and faster.” adds Oliver Hoffmann, Technical Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH: “Motorsport is part of our DNA. With around 50 percent shared parts with the R8 LMS GT3 and even 60 percent with the R8 LMS GT4, no other automobile is so close to motor racing as the R8.”
Instant response, lightning-fast high-revving and a unique sound – the heart of the Audi R8 is its V10 naturally aspirated engine. It is available to customers in two output ratings. The almost identical drive technology of the V10 engine in the R8 LMS GT3 and R8 LMS GT4 is put to good use on the racetrack. The V10, which is produced at the engine plant in Győr, Hungary, is very compact. A separate radiator controls the temperature of the engine oil, which comes from a dry sump. This principle was adopted from motor racing and allows for an extremely low installation position of the engine, producing a low center of gravity. The pump module operates with multiple suction stages and assures proper lubrication under all conditions – including during lateral acceleration of around 1.5 G, which is possible in the R8. Both engines have a gasoline particulate filter.
Modifications to the suspension provide even more stability and precision. The assistance has been retuned both with the optional dynamic steering and the electromechanical power steering: Steering response and the feedback from the road come across as even more precise across the entire range of speeds.
Depending on the selected engine, the three additional programs dry, wet and snow are added to the well-known Audi drive select modes with the performance mode. They adapt the key dynamic parameters to the friction coefficient of the road. Thanks to the enhanced Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), the top-of-the-line model brakes from 100 km/h (62.1 mph) to a standstill up to 1.5 meters (4.9 ft) earlier; the stopping distance from 200 km/h (124.3 mph) is up to five meters (16.4 ft) shorter – in each case depending on the exterior conditions.
The new Audi R8 is equipped with factory-installed 19-inch wheels. Ultralight 20-inch fully milled wheels in five-V dynamic design with new summer and sport tires, which convey even more precise handling, are available as an option. Audi offers ceramic brake discs as an alternative to the standard steel discs. The stabilizer at the front is optionally made from carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and aluminum, which cuts weight by around two kilograms (4.4 lb).
The honed character of the new R8 models also becomes clear visually. The Singleframe radiator grille has a wider, flatter line. Thick bars divide up the large air inlets. Flat slits in the hood are reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro brand icon. The new front splitter is now wider, as is the striking low-set air vent grille at the rear. The grille rounds off the diffuser that extends quite some way up. All of which underlines the sporty look of the Audi R8. In the engine compartment the air filter is situated under a new, three-part cover – available in a choice of plastic or carbon fiber.
R8 customers can choose from up to three exterior packages, depending on the engine variant; these packages add various highlights to the front splitter, the side trims and the diffuser. As an option, the Audi rings and badges on the exterior are painted in high-gloss black. The new metallic colors Kemora Gray and Ascari Blue add to the paint range. The Audi exclusive range gives customers the opportunity to customize many details of their Audi R8 – inside and out.
The new R8 models will be arriving at dealerships in Germany and other European countries in the course of the first quarter of 2019. The models will go on sale in early 2019.