As if the regular 420hp 4.2 liter V8 Audi R8 isn't fast enough, Audi is launching the next variant of its top-of-the-line model - the R8 V10. Its 5.2 liter, ten cylinder engine churns out 525hp and 390.91 lb-ft of torque.
With Audi technologies such as quattro all-wheel drive, a lightweight aluminum body, innovative all-LED headlights, and its striking design, the R8 V10 takes a prominent position in the supercar pecking order.
The R8 V10 is the result of cumulative know-how from Audi's string of Le Mans victories. Its naturally aspirated engine combines racing technology such as dry-sump lubrication with FSI gasoline direct injection. The ten cylinder design is the perfect synthesis for impressive top performance, mighty pulling power, and low weight. Starting in 2009, the engine will also prove its potential on the world's racetracks - in the new R8 GT3 racecar.
The V10 engine will be almost identical in construction to the racing version. Its displacement is 5204cc, and at 6500rpm it delivers 390.91 lb-ft of torque, at 8000rpm, while its power tops out at 525hp. The specific power output is 100.9hp per liter of displacement - and each hp has to propel only 6.91 lb of weight, because the six-speed manual weighs only 3571 lb. The engine accounts for 569 lb -only 68 lb more than the V8.
The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro rockets from zero to 62mph in 3.9sec. In the sequentially shifting R tronic version it reaches 124mph in another 8.1sec. Even then its power hardly lessens: it's sufficient to reach a top speed of 196.35mph. The 5.2-liter powerplant uses Audi's FSI direct injection. A common rail system injects the fuel into the combustion chambers with up to 120-bar of pressure. Direct injection reduces the susceptibility to knocking and an amount of cooling through the evaporation of fuel, which in turn supports a high compression ratio of 12.5:1. This in turn contributes to superior performance and improves fuel economy. The R8 V10 with R tronic gets an average of 17mpg US.
The technical refinements of the long-stroke ten cylinder engine include dry-sump lubrication, which allows the engine to be mounted low within the chassis. The wide cylinder angle of 90 degrees also makes for a low center of gravity. The crankcase is a high-strength aluminum casting, the connecting rods are made of forged steel, the pistons of aluminum. The four camshafts are chain-driven and each is adjustable through 42 degrees. This provides great latitude in controlling the valve timing. In combination with the straight, flow-optimized ducts of the intake manifold, this improves the charge throughout the entire speed range.
The R8 5.2 FSI quattro has a six-speed transmission. A precise and smooth- shifting manual transmission comes as standard. The sequential R tronic is available as an option. The high-tech gearshift conveys an authentic racing feel - with the rocker switches at the steering wheel and the short shifting times of usually less than one-tenth of a second. When the driver actuates the Launch Control program by pressing a button, the R8 V10 takes off with electronically controlled tire slip - in both the R tronic and with the manual transmission.
The Audi R8 chassis offers both dynamic performance and astonishing levels of comfort on long distances. This high-performance sports car responds to any steering action with instant ease, achieves lateral acceleration of up to 1.2g, and handles any situation with ample safety. Its mid-engine design provides an ideal axle load distribution of 44 to 56%. 19-inch wheels equipped with tire pressure monitoring display are standard equipment. Their 10-spoke Y design is exclusive to the R8 V10. Tire sizes are 235/35 front and 295/30 rear.
The car features a high-end damper technology as standard: Audi magnetic ride adapts the characteristics of the suspension in milliseconds to the nature of the road surface and to the driving style. Suspended in the oil of the shock absorbers are tiny magnetic particles which, when a voltage is applied, rearrange themselves so as to slow down the flow of oil through the valves. In the R8 V10, deceleration is provided by a muscular braking system - eight brake pistons at the front and four at the rear grasp the brake rotors, which are ventilated and perforated to ensure unimpeded heat transfer. The brake disks on the front axle have a diameter of 15"; the rear discs span 14".
The R8 5.2 FSI quattro is optionally available with a ceramic brake system whose rotors are made of a composite material containing high-strength carbon fibers and abrasion-resistant silicon carbide. These are especially light: their combined weight is 19.84 lb less than the weight of equivalent steel rotors. The ceramic brakes can easily cope with the harsher requirements of racing, won't corrode, and have a typical service life of more than 180,000 miles. Their calipers are painted charcoal gray and emblazoned with the inscription "Audi ceramic".
A distinctive highlight of the R8 V10 are the all-LED headlights as standard equipment. Audi is the world's first automaker to use LEDs for the high beam, low beam, daytime running lights and turn signals. Each headlight integrates 54 of these high-tech light sources. With a color temperature of 6,000 Kelvin, the LED light closely resembles daylight, which is less tiring to the eyes in night driving. Further advantages of the LEDs include brilliant illumination, low energy consumption, and a virtually unlimited service life.
Special details also distinguish the body of the R8 V10. Its side blades are more accentuated than in the eight-cylinder version. The side sills are more striking and wider; the exhaust grilles at the rear windows have a matte aluminum look. Through the large rear window, the ten-cylinder engine is clearly visible in its consummate technical beauty.
When in motion, this Audi high-performance sports car creates a downforce that keeps it in contact with the road - thanks to a rear spoiler which deploys automatically at 60mph and the fully enclosed underbody, which terminates in an upward-curved diffuser. The dominant color at the rear end is high-gloss black, including the settings of the LED tail lights. The air outlets at the rear end have only two cross-braces, and the exhaust system terminates in two large oval tailpipes.
The interior of the R8 V10 provides a unique racing ambience at the luxury level. Its dominant element is the so-called monoposto - a wide arc that contains the steering wheel and the cockpit. The surfaces of the dashboard and doors are lined with fine materials and adorned with precisely stitched decorative seams. Many customizing solutions are available: Audi supplies leather in a wide range of colors, packages with a carbon and piano-lacquer finish.
The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro combines its performance with a generous complement of standard equipment. Highlights include heated seats made of Nappa leather, a driver information system, the navigation system plus and a Bang & Olufsen sound system along with automatic air conditioning. The instruments and the gear shift knob are decorated with red rings; the footrests and the rocker switches of the R tronic have an aluminum finish. The list of options includes other features such as the Audi parking system advanced with its integrated rearview camera.
The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro will be rolled out in Germany in the second quarter of 2009 at a basic price of EUR 142,400.