Audi R8 | Part Two

Audi R8 front

Audi R8

Spinning freely to its 8,250rpm limit, this acclaimed unit punches the R8 through the 62mph barrier in just 4.6 seconds and, in the right conditions, can carry it on to a top speed of 187mph – an unprecedented high for a road-going Audi.

Driving purists can choose a six-speed manual transmission to channel the 430Nm of torque to the four driven wheels, but they may also be tempted by the racing-inspired R tronic sequential shift gearbox with joystick and paddle control, which uses ‘shift-by-wire’ technology to provide exceptionally rapid gear changes.

By mounting the potent eight-cylinder unit as close as possible to the centre of the new R8, in deference to racing legends such as the Le Mans-winning R8 sports prototype and Auto Union Type C Grand Prix car, Audi engineers have achieved near perfect 44 per cent front / 56 per cent rear weight distribution for optimum handling balance. Dry sump engine lubrication - another racing-derived element – also furthers this aim by enabling the V8 to be mounted as close to the road as possible to lower the centre of gravity.

Advanced Audi magnetic ride
This classic configuration, combined with advanced Audi Space Frame (ASF) construction mating lightweight aluminium panelling to an aluminium space frame, provides the very best operating conditions for the futuristic chassis, which itself contains a high proportion of aluminium components. The front and rear double wishbone suspension delivers exceptional agility, and can be controlled by either a more traditional spring-and-damper set-up giving a remarkably composed and comfortable ride by sports car standards, or by the advanced Audi magnetic ride system first seen in the new TT Coupé.

Audi R8 in detail | Part Three
Published 12 May 2007 Melanie Carter

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