These are the first official pictures of the Audi R8 V10, the fastest, most powerful version of Audi’s Porsche-baiting mid-engined supercar.
The range-topping Audi R8 V10 goes on sale in the middle of next year, costing £99,575 for the six-speed manual version and £104,675 with the R-tronic paddle-shift gearbox.
Its V10 powerplant is based on the unit from the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 but has been detuned in the Audi. It delivers 518bhp at 8000rpm and 390lb ft torque.
The 5204cc direct-injection FSI in the Audi R8 V10 is designed not only to be very powerful but also relatively lightweight in an effort to boost performance and efficiency.
Two more cylinders
Audi’s V10 engine weighs just 31kg more than the older V8, despite its two extra cylinders. In all, the Audi R8 V10 weighs 1620kg - just 60kg more than the standard car.
This blend of power and only modest weight gains helps the Audi R8 V10 hit 62mph from standstill in just 3.9sec, 0.6sec quicker than the familiar V8 model.
Perhaps more tellingly, Audi claims the R8 V10 will sprint from 0-124mph in just 12sec. Top speed is said to be 196mph, but despite the potent performance, Audi claims 20mpg economy is possible.
Chassis and suspension
The Audi R8 V10’s suspension has been tweaked. Compared with that on the standard car, it will be harder and more performance-focused, although the adjustable magnetic dampers remain.
Audi’s Quattro four-wheel-drive system stays to ensure class-topping traction. Audi says the R8 V10 can generate cornering forces up to 1.5g.
Behind newly designed 19in alloys sit bigger eight-piston brakes with 15in discs at the front and 14in units at the rear. Carbon-ceramic brakes are on the option list, reducing brake fade and saving 9kg at each corner.
Subtle cosmetic changes set the R8 V10 apart from the standard V8. Its wings are more accentuated than the standard car’s, the sills are wider, the exhaust grille has a matt aluminium look and the lip of the front apron is painted gloss black.
More R8s to come
This V10 is the first in a series of new R8s. Towards the end of next year we expect to see a diesel V8 TDI version.
A Le Mans-inspired V12 TDI R8 also plays a part in Audi’s product plans for 2011. But this could be delayed by the current financial climate.
Rumour persists of a hardcore R8 RS to rival the Porsche 911 GT3. If a track-bred RS model does make production, it’s likely to use a version of the petrol V10.