It seems like yesterday when the Audi R8 debuted for the 2008 model year. Now, Audi is bringing its supercar into its second generation in what it promises will be the "most powerful and fastest series-production Audi ever." Debuting at the Geneva show next month are the R8 V10, R8 e-tron, and R8 LMS models.
For the first time, Audi has pulled the camouflage off the R8, revealing an exterior that looks even sleeker than its predecessor. New vents trade their horizontal slats for vertical ones, and a revised grille forms a hexagonal shape. Optional laser high beams produce greater range than an LED headlamp, the car's standard lighting. Ten exterior colors are available, plus the additional Camouflage Green for the R8 V10 Plus model.
Plenty of changes also happen inside the cockpit, where instruments are better positioned to accommodate the driver. The model features redesigned headrests, a multifunction steering wheel with stop-start and drive select buttons, new Performance steering wheel option with more buttons, optional R8 bucket seats, and a 12.3-inch display. Meanwhile, the shift lever for the seven-speed transmission has been designed into a flatter shape. Leather choices include Alcantara/pearl Nappa leather and fine Nappa, and available trim accents include clear-coated carbon fiber and a new diamond stitching pattern for the headliner.
As we reported earlier, the new Audi R8 features a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic as well as two naturally aspirated V-10 engines, one producing 540 hp and the other kicking things up to 610 horses. Power comes from a 5.2-liter FSI engine, which in the most powerful version allows the car to hit 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds. A V-8 model is expected to come later.
After much back and forth, Audi has decided to bring out the e-tron model, which also offers exceptional performance. The model, which delivers 455 hp and 679 lb-ft of torque, gets its juice from a large T-shaped lithium ion battery that is located behind the occupant cell. Hitting 62 mph takes just 3.9 seconds in this EV supercar, and according to Audi, drivers can go for 279.6 miles without having to recharge. Speaking of recharging, it takes "significantly less than two hours" to charge the e-tron model, thanks to a new system that allows charging with direct and alternating current. The model will be available for order upon request.
Also making its debut in Geneva is the new Audi R8 LMS race car that will contest the 2016 season. This new model was developed based on new GT3 regulations that come into effect worldwide starting next year. The LMS features a V-10 engine that's almost identical to the production model's, producing about 585 hp. Along with lots of carbon fiber reinforced plastics, the race car also features a safety cage.
For those looking to get their hands on the new supercar, the second-generation Audi R8 goes on sale this summer. You can see it first next week in Geneva, however.