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The R8, the high-performance sports car from Audi, is a high-tech work of art with the formidable power of its engines, the quattro permanent all-wheel drive and its lightweight Audi Space Frame (ASF) body made of aluminum.
The good everyday practicality and top quality typical of Audi complete the profile of this model athlete.
Body and interior
The forward-thrust cockpit and the engine compartment behind it are key to the proportions of the R8. Large wheel wells and hungry air inlets visualize its potential, while the upright sideblade structures the flank. LED headlights are standard in ten-cylinder R8 models and available as an option for the eight-cylinder version.
The body of the R8 is largely hand-built at the craft-scale production shop at the Neckarsulm site. Featuring an aluminum Audi Space Frame (ASF), it tips the scales at just 210 kilograms (462.97 lb) – ultra-lightweight construction in the extreme. The fully-enclosed diffuser underbody and the rear spoiler that slides out automatically help ensure that the R8 generates downforce at high speeds.
The key element of the interior is the monoposto, a large arc sweeping around the dashboard instruments. The relatively long wheelbase of 2.65 meters (8.69 ft) allows for generous interior space. There is space for two golf bags behind the seats, and the luggage compartment under the front hatch offers an additional 100 liters (3.53 cu ft) of storage capacity. The R8 5.2 FSI quattro comes standard with Fine Nappa leather appointments, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, and the navigation system plus. The optional bucket seats from the Audi exclusive range exude concentrated racing style.
Two high-tech engines are available for the Audi R8. Both reflect the wealth of expertise which helped to fuel Audi’s numerous racing triumphs. The V8 and the V10 combine FSI gasoline direct injection with dry sump lubrication and a high-revving concept. Both captivate with their power, their responsiveness and their musical sound. The eight-cylinder unit launches the R8 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.6 seconds en route to a top speed of 302 km/h (187.65 mph). The V10 is a touch faster, with a time of just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 316 km/h (196.35 mph).
4.2 FSI quattro with 316 kW (430 hp)
5.2 FSI quattro with 386 kW (525 hp)
The engines’ power flows to either a six-speed manual transmission or the R tronic controlled in this case via either a joystick on the center console or paddles on the steering wheel. The automatic transmission changes gears extremely fast, and the launch control program enables the Audi R8 to make stunningly fast starts with perfectly controlled slip.
The quattro permanent all-wheel drive is tailored to the mid-engine concept with a rear-biased axle load distribution, sending roughly 85 percent of the power to the rear wheels in the standard distribution. The heart of the system is a viscous coupling at the front axle, which can transfer up to 30 percent of the torque to the front within milliseconds, if needed.
The chassis of the Audi R8 is just as well suited for blasting through corners as it is for casual cruising. Aluminum double wishbones locate the wheels up front and at the back. The setup for the R8 with V10 engine is somewhat stiffer than for the R8 4.2 FSI. The top model comes standard with 19-inch wheels. All four floating brake discs are internally vented and perforated. A total of 24 pistons clamp down on them.
The optional carbon fiber-ceramic brakes are extremely lightweight, strong, and durable. The Audi magnetic ride adaptive shock absorber system is standard in the R8 5.2 FSI quattro and an option with the V8.
The Audi R8 Spyder
The open-top high-performance sports car is a favorite with the public and experts alike. Its most recent successes include category victories in the “Auto Trophy” from Auto Zeitung and being voted among “The Best Cars of 2011” by the readers of auto motor und sport magazine.
The Audi R8 Spyder has its own unique touches. It does not include the storage space behind the seats and sideblades on the flanks. The rear side panels and the large cover over the compartment for the top are made of a carbon-fiber composite. Two cowls extending to the spoiler lip give the long back of the car a powerful profile.
Typically Audi, the top is made of cloth, which keeps the total weight and the vehicle’s center of gravity low. It requires little space when open and harmonizes ideally with the design line when closed. With the standard hydraulic motor, the soft top opens and closes within 19 seconds, even while driving at speeds up to 50 km/h (31.07 mph). It is perfectly suitable for high-speed driving on the highway and is very quiet.The separate wind deflector can be installed in just two steps. The heated glass rear window is integrated into the bulkhead separately and can be raised and lowered via a switch. The bulkhead also includes integrated rollover protection. The Spyder’s ASF body is reinforced in key areas, yet weighs just six kilograms
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