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.