The Audi R8 Coupe & R8 Spyder

No other production car with the four rings is as powerful, fast or distinctive. The high-performance R8 sports car is designed for maximum dynamics in all technical areas. In the sports car world, the Audi R8 is right among the leaders in terms of its driving performance. The R8 Coupé V10 plus accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62.1 mph) in a mere 3.2 seconds and keeps going to its maximum speed of 330 km/h (205.1 mph).

Design and body
The Audi R8 Coupé is 4.42 meters (14.5 ft) long and 1.94 meters (6.4 ft) wide. With its cabin placed far forward, a long back and 2.65-meter (8.7 ft) wheelbase, the proportions make the technology concept of the mid-engine sports car plain to see at a glance. Characteristic design features are the sharp lines and edges as well as the two-part sideblade, which is interrupted by the continuous shoulder line and tautens the sides.

Large air inlets with vertical fins and LED headlights flank the wide, low-slung Singleframe grill that has a three-dimensionally sculpted look. As an option, Audi can deliver LED headlights with laser spots that double the range of the high-beam headlights. This option also includes dynamic turn signals in front; they are standard in the LED tail lights. The look at the rear is defined by the diffuser, the ventilation screen of the engine compartment and – in the V10 plus – a CFRP fixed wing.

In the top model, the R8 V10 plus, the unladen weight (without driver) is only 1,580 kg (3,483.3 lb), and the dry weight is a low 1,479 kg (3,260.6 lb). Playing a decisive role in this systematic lightweight design concept is the Audi Space Frame (ASF), which weighs just 200 kilograms (440.9 lb) thanks to a new type of multi-material construction. It comprises

79 percent aluminum and 14 percent carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) and was designed according to the Audi motto “The right material in the right amount at the right place”.

Drive system
The engine of the Audi high-performance sports car is available in two versions – with 397 kW (540 hp) in the R8 V10 and 449 kW (610 hp) in the R8 V10 plus. Their maximum engine torque – 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) and 560 Nm (413.0 lb-ft), respectively – is available at 6,500 revolutions per minute for both engines.

The response of the high-revving (up to 8,700 rpm), naturally aspirated 5.2-liter engine is particularly spontaneous. Like a racing car engine, the V10 unit has dry sump lubrication. Its characteristic sound is very distinctive, and on request Audi will install a sports exhaust system for an even fuller sound.

At the same time, the V10 engine employs effective efficiency technologies. They include the COD (cylinder on demand) system, which shuts off one row of cylinders under low load conditions. Another is dual injection, which injects the fuel into the combustion chambers and induction manifold according to demand. In certain operating modes, when drivers take their foot off the gas pedal at speeds over 55 km/h (34.2 mph), the engine is decoupled from the drivetrain and the R8 Coupé goes into a coasting mode. At a standstill, a start-stop system switches off the V10 power unit. If desired, this function can be deactivated.

Engine lineup
5.2 FSI quattro with 397 kW (540 hp)
5.2 FSI quattro with 449 kW (610 hp)

Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.3 – 11.4 (19.1 – 20.6 US mpg)
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 287 – 272 (461.9 – 437.7 g/mi)
(Figures vary depending on engine/transmission/wheels/tires)

Positioned behind the engine is a seven-speed S tronic that executes lightning-fast gear shifts by electrical control – by wire. The dual-clutch transmission directs the power to the quattro drive system with an electrohydraulically activated multi-plate clutch at the front axle. It has active water cooling for maximum performance. The clutch distributes drive torque fully variably according to the driving situation – up to 100 percent can be directed to either the front or rear wheels.

The motorsport DNA of the Audi R8 Coupé also expresses itself in the chassis area with its aluminum double wishbone suspensions. The V10 is tuned especially for sporty driving. For both engines, electrically controlled shock absorbers (Audi magnetic ride) are available on request. The electromechanical power steering system gives drivers finely differentiated road feedback. As an alternative, Audi offers dynamic steering for more direct steering characteristics. Besides integrating the quattro drive system, Audi drive select also integrates other systems into its four modes (auto, comfort, dynamic and individual): the accelerator pedal, steering, S tronic, damper control (optional), dynamic steering (optional) and the flaps of the exhaust system. The dry, wet and snow performance modes also influence the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC).

Interior and controls
In the interior too, the lightweight design concept of the Audi R8 is expressed in taut lines. The defining element is the arc-shaped monoposto that wraps around the cockpit. The instrument panel appears to float weightlessly, and filigree-shaped controls for the automatic air conditioning are arranged along its lower edge. Behind the seats is a cargo space with 226 liters (8.0 cu ft) of capacity, which supplements the 112 liter (4.0 cu ft) luggage compartment at the front of the car.

As in a racing car, drivers can operate all important functions without having to take their hands off the steering wheel or look away from the road. The R8 sport leather steering wheel with multifunction plus, which is standard on the R8 V10, integrates two satellite buttons: for starting or stopping the engine and for Audi drive select. The R8 performance leather steering wheel with four control satellites offers one additional push-button with a rotary switch for the performance mode and another for controlling the exhaust system.

The Audi virtual cockpit – a TFT monitor with a 12.3-inch screen – presents all information in intricately rendered, high-resolution graphics. The driver can choose between three views. In the performance view, the rev counter is centrally located, and other indicators and gages are arranged around it – for torque, power, oil temperature, tire temperatures, g-forces and lap times on the race track, for example.

The Audi R8 Coupé also comes with a generous set of standard equipment. One highlight is MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. The driver operates the system from the steering wheel, the MMI terminal on the console of the center tunnel or using spoken commands. Audi connect is the perfect component to complement MMI navigation plus. It brings the R8 online using the high-performance LTE standard. The Sound System from Bang & Olufsen with loudspeakers in the head restraints and the Audi phone box round out the infotainment lineup.

Audi R8 Spyder

Convertible top
The R8 Spyder has a lightweight soft top which tapers into two fins. These stretch the cloth so that it harmonizes perfectly with the athletic design of this high-performance sports car, in much the same was as the large CFRP hood compartment cover does. An electrohydraulic drive opens and closes the soft top in 20 seconds at vehicle speeds up to 50 km/h (31.1 mph). The rear window, sunk into the bulkhead, can be retracted and extended. With all windows up, the air stream strokes the body with a minimum of turbulence.

Without the driver, the open-top two-seater weighs only 1,720 kilograms (3,792.0 lb). Its strong backbone is the newly developed Audi Space Frame (ASF) using the multi-material construction principle, made from aluminum and carbon fiber. The aluminum components make up 79.6 percent of its weight. In a progression from the R8 Coupé, they form a lattice that Audi’s engineers have used to incorporate specific reinforcements especially into the sills,

A-pillars and windshield frame. Innovative manufacturing methods lower the weight of individual components by up to ten percent. The result: the highly rigid body weighs just 208 kilograms (458.6 lb), and its torsional rigidity has increased by over 50 percent compared with the previous model.

Drive system
The powerful mid-engine with dual injection system sets the tone in the new Audi R8 Spyder V10. The naturally aspirated 5.2‑liter engine has a dynamic throttle response. Its sporty sound – which can be optionally amplified by a sport exhaust system with gloss black tailpipe trims – is goosebump-inducing. 397 kW (540 hp) of power and 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque at 6,500 rpm deliver phenomenal road performance: from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.6 seconds, and a top speed of 318 km/h (197.6 mph). Efficiency technologies such as the new freewheeling mode, where the R8 coasts with the engine decoupled, also improve fuel efficiency by ten percent compared with the predecessor model. The new R8 Spyder consumes 11.7 liters per 100 kilometers (20.1 US mpg), corresponding to 277 grams of CO2 per kilometer (445.8 g/mile).

Engine lineup
5.2 FSI quattro with 397 kW (540 hp)
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 11.7 (20.1 US mpg)
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 277 (445.8 g/mi)
(Figures vary depending on engine/transmission/wheels/tires)

Behind the V10 there is a seven-speed S tronic with lightning-fast action, which the driver controls electrically – by wire. The dual-clutch transmission directs forces to a newly designed quattro drive system via a multi-plate clutch at the front axle that features electrohydraulic activation. The all-wheel clutch, water-cooled for maximum performance, distributes the drive torques fully variably according to the driving situation – in extreme cases, up to 100 percent to the front or rear wheels.

Operation is totally focused on the driver. The latter can control all important functions with the multifunction and satellite buttons of the steering wheel without having to take their hands off the wheel or look away from the road. The large 12.3-inch, fully digital Audi virtual cockpit presents all information using rich 3D graphics – if desired, in a special performance view that includes driving dynamics information.

The intuitively operated MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is standard, as are belt microphones. These make it even easier to use natural-language voice control and the phone.

The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.

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Article taken from Audi Media Centre