Currently reading: 2015 Audi R8 revealed
Audi's new R8 supercar is powered by V10 engines, with a new e-tron model also confirmed
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5 mins read
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.

Read our Audi R8 V10 review here

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.

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Audi R8 V8

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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.

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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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Cyborg 3 March 2015

Dull

Looks almost identical to its predecessor and is rather boring to look at. The interior design is not as elegant as the latest generation TT if an improvement on the rather dated previous generation R8. Overall another Geneva disappointment for me. The supercar manufactures have really lost their styling/design balls lately.
Peter Cavellini 3 March 2015

Ho hum........

Anybody know of a super car that's totally different from the herd?
Pat75014 27 February 2015

This R8 eTron V2 is GORGEOUS...BUT

Good that AUDI plays me-too vs Tesla on this eTron 2.0 version with 92KWH battery and Dual Motors, but still missing is the 135KW Superchargers network that will allow to do the same thing with a more comparable car. That will have to include long vacation trips of # 1000KM or 650M per day at 130KM/H on the motorway, that requires #275KWH of charge per day. Tesla 135KW chargers allow to charge this in 2h, split in 4 x very convenient 30mn stops, to 80% charge 85KWH each time. If only option with Audi are the CCS # 22KW Fast Chargers (Charging 275KW in 12.5H per day,split over 4 stops too but of endless 3H each to 80% charge this battery..., forcing to drive day and night to make same 1000KM/day), or even Chamedo 50KW Asian fast chargers that take 5.6H per day to charge in 4 times 1.4H each... and they have no Tesla like 135KW Superchargers, then nobody will buy this marvellous car... De-facto limited to local commutes and small trips only.
.... All this said this car is beautifull ! And an SUV built with that drivertrain and backed with a Supercharger Network could interest me a lot... as an alternative to the Tesla Model X I favor for my next car replacement in 2016....

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