Audi is sending shockwaves through the sports car establishment yet again with the new Audi R8 V10, a ten-cylinder, 525PS, 196mph evolution of the quattro four-wheel-driven sports car that UK enthusiasts have taken to their hearts. The project that has been the subject of intense speculation since the 2006 launch of the V8-powered R8 is set to come to fruition in January when the new super car opens for UK order priced at £99,575 OTR in manual form, or £104,665 OTR equipped with the R tronic sequential shift transmission. First deliveries are expected next spring.
The new 5.2-litre FSI V10 petrol engine mounted longitudinally directly behind the cockpit is almost identical in construction to the unit powering the recently announced Audi R8 LMS that will race at customer level in the GT3 class. It contributes only 31kg more to the overall weight of the all-aluminium-bodied Audi R8 than the existing V8, taking it to 1,620kg, and making possible an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 324PS per ton.
Punching out its 525PS maximum at 8,000rpm, and peak torque of 530Nm at 6,500rpm, this exceptional and highly efficient direct injection unit rockets the Audi R8 through the 62mph barrier in just 3.9 seconds as it revs freely to its 8,700rpm limit in each of its six ratios. When linked to the R tronic transmission it can reach 124mph in only 12 seconds, and in the right conditions can maintain its breathtaking momentum all the way to 196mph - an unprecedented high for a road-going Audi.
By mounting the ten-cylinder unit as close as possible to the centre of the Audi R8, Audi engineers have achieved near perfect 44 per cent front / 56 per cent rear weight distribution for optimum handling balance. Dry sump engine lubrication - an element specifically derived from racing - also furthers this aim by enabling the V10 to be mounted as close to the road as possible to lower the centre of gravity.Published 9 December 2008