Audi's new R8 supercar is powered by V10 engines, with a new e-tron model also confirmed
3 March 2015

The second-generation Audi R8 has been revealed and will go on sale later this year with prices starting from £119,500.

The Ingolstadt manufacturer has confirmed the new two-seater will be sold with a range-topping 601bhp 5.2-litre V10 petrol engine and newly developed quattro four-wheel drive system capable of providing it with 0-62mph acceleration in just 3.2sec and a 205mph top speed.

The car is available to order in the UK from May 2015. The V10 costs £119,500 and the more powerful V10 Plus £137,500. First deliveries will take place in late 2015. Full UK specification will be confirmed later this week.

Making its public debut at the Geneva motor show, the new car follows an evolutionary path, retaining all the integral elements of the first-generation R8, on sale since 2006.

However, Audi’s technical development boss Ulrich Hackenberg says every component of the new R8 has been either upgraded or newly designed using knowhow from the German car maker’s LMP and LMS racing programs.

“With the new R8, our engineers are bringing accumulated racing expertise from the race track to the road," said Hackenberg. "No other Audi is closer to a race car.”

Audi has also confirmed the existence of a new all-electric drivetrain for a new R8 e-tron model, planned to be sold in limited volumes in selected markets.

To reinforce its performance potential, the new R8 will be sold exclusively with V10 power during the initial sales phase, although official pricing has yet to be confirmed.

The previous V8 powerplant has been overlooked, owing in part to stiff tax laws on engines over 4.0 litres in key markets such as China. “We are working on a solution,” Hackenberg told Autocar, suggesting a cheaper and less powerful model could be added to the line-up at a later stage.

Stylistically, the new Audi leans heavily on its predecessor. Despite the apparent visual similarities between the two, every exterior element is described as new, including the new R8’s signature single-frame grille, distinctive LED headlamps, side-blade treatment and complete aluminium body. 

Audi insiders have confirmed to Autocar that the new two-door supercar was originally styled under the guise of former Audi design boss, Wolfgang Egger.

However, incumbent Audi design boss Marc Lichte is said to have made detailed changes to the appearance following his arrival in Ingolstadt early last year. 

In line with recent developments at the German car maker, Audi is offering the new R8 with its hi-tech laser headlights. These use a laser-guided spot lamp for the high beams, along with dynamic turn signals at the front. Dynamic turn signals are standard at the rear.

At 4442mm long, 1944mm wide and 1241mm high, the new R8 is the same length as the old R8, but 39mm wider and 9mm lower than before. 

Together with the new R8 coupé revealed here in a series of official photographs, Audi is also preparing a successor to the R8 spyder, although it isn’t planned to be shown until later this year, most likely at the Los Angeles motor show in November.

The mid-engined coupé is underpinned by a new spaceframe structure that is claimed to weigh 200kg.

Although still manufactured predominantly from aluminium, it also receives new carbonfibre-reinforced plastic elements in a move that is claimed to contribute to a 66kg reduction in the kerb weight of the new R8 V10 Plus, which tips the scales at an official 1454kg.

As well as being significantly lighter, the new structure is also said to provide a considerable 40% improvement in static rigidity.

The suspension retains a combination of double wishbones front and rear. They are allied to standard steel springs and dampers or an optional Magnaride package that provides continuously variable damping control.

While mirroring the set-up used on the old R8, Audi claims the underpinnings have been thoroughly revised, with lighter components brought in from its LMP and LMS racing programs to provide crucial reductions in unsprung masses.

Read Autocar's last drive in the first generation Audi R8

R8 buyers will be offered a heavily updated version of the first-generation model’s 5.2-litre engine in two different states of tune, when it goes on sale later in 2015.

Manufactured at Audi’s Gyor plant in Hungary, the V10 now has a new cylinder-on-demand system and comes mated exclusively to a standard seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox.

In standard form, the 90-degree unit kicks out 532bhp at 8000rpm and 398lb ft at 6500rpm, giving the new R8 V10 a subtle 15bhp and 7lb ft more than its predecessor. 

The clear highlight, though, is the R8 V10 Plus, which now packs a Lamborghini Huracán-equaling 601bhp at 8150rpm and 413lb ft of torque at 6500rpm – some 59bhp and 15lb ft more than the car it replaces.

Along with tweaks to the gearbox, to enable the adoption of an automatic engine stop-start system, Audi has also provided its range-topping performance model with a new and faster-reacting four-wheel drive system.

Already previewed on the Huracán, it eschews the old viscous coupling system for a more contemporary multi-plate clutch arrangement that is capable of transferring up to 100% of drive to the front or rear axle, and is claimed to provide added efficiency savings due to lower mechanical drag. 

According to Audi’s official performance figures, the R8 V10 has a 0-62mph time of 3.5sec and 201mph top speed, while the more powerful R8 V10 Plus has a respective 3.2sec and 205mph. By comparison, the old model had claimed figures of 3.6sec and 195mph, and 3.5sec and 197mph.

The adoption of cylinder-on-demand and other fuel-saving features has brought about a claimed 10% improvement in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on the European test cycle. The R8 V10 returns a claimed 23.9mpg and 275g/km, while the R8 V10 Plus is rated at 22.8mpg and 289g/km.

The new R8 e-tron, meanwhile, uses a development of the system from the still-born first-generation R8 e-tron, with an overall output of 456bhp and 679lb ft of torque. It is claimed to hit 62mph from standstill in 3.9sec and, through the adoption of more efficient battery cells, achieve a range more than double that of the original, at around 280 miles.

The new R8 will be assembled on a new showcase production line established close to Audi’s Neckarsulm site in Germany.

Watch our first ride in the new Audi R8 below.

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Our Verdict

Mid-life revisions keep the Audi R8 at the top of its game

It may not have a posh badge, but when it comes to what really matters the R8 has what it takes to hold its head high among supercar rivals

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Comments
24

14 April 2014
Can't even be bothered to be creative for the new R8 flagship. You'd have thought they'd bring in a new design language for the new R8, a language that would trickle down through the rest of the range. I'm sure the new R8 will be superbly better than the first, with all the new tech, but visually I think I'll be bored by it...

5 March 2015
Osteopathica wrote:
Can't even be bothered to be creative for the new R8 flagship. You'd have thought they'd bring in a new design language for the new R8, a language that would trickle down through the rest of the range. I'm sure the new R8 will be superbly better than the first, with all the new tech, but visually I think I'll be bored by it...
Are you bored with your wife? or your Rolex ? some things are just to fabulous to change and are very personal - I think the R8 is one of them and more desirable and more perfect than a lot more expensively priced machinery out there. Thank you Audi - this is amazing

what's life without imagination

14 April 2014
In general I strongly dislike the front end of Audis over the last decade with the gaping hole for a grille. The exception was the R8 where it did actually bear to mind the Auto Union race cars of the 1930s and not some mouth-breathing idiot trying to figure out what 2+2 was. This new R8 sharpens the look up and isn't ostentatious (which would usurp the Lamborghini USP) though it is in danger of starting to look like a slightly-larger TT.

14 April 2014
Looks boring, as others have mentioned, it is as though the order from above said do not make it look that good , just like a TT etc we do not intend to encroach on Lambo.

16 February 2015
...but it looks like when they take off those taped on panels behind the doors it really will be just a large TT. Hero to zero !!!

16 February 2015
I can't get away from the feeling that the R8 is just a Lamborghini.

Peter Cavellini.

17 February 2015
Peter Cavellini wrote:
I can't get away from the feeling that the R8 is just a Lamborghini.
Surely at least half the point is that it isn't?

26 February 2015
skiwi wrote:
Peter Cavellini wrote:
I can't get away from the feeling that the R8 is just a Lamborghini.
Surely at least half the point is that it isn't?
Like what another poster said,where's the new design tech?,ain't broke don't fix it?,well,yes,but, if your going to showcase new tech,Audi are going to do the prologue(i know, weird name)it does look different to previous Audi's.

Peter Cavellini.

26 February 2015
Not quite as bad as I expected, but boy oh boy the difference a colour and a spoiler make. Would love to see the two panels joined to make a single colour band behind the doors. Still not as good as the original, but its back on the dream list.

26 February 2015
As an Audi buyer of many years I'm bored of the current Audi look. I know that they're due to move on soon, but they are really 4 years too late.

However, they are to be congratulated on starting the movement on getting rid of those awful stick up tablet screens by developing the instrument panels to show sat nav, etc. BMW, Mercedes, etc please take note.

Now move your game on externally please.

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