The new Audi R8: a racer for the road

Virtual cockpit and steering wheel from the racing compartment Photos: Audi

With the new Audi R8 plus, the company is building the most powerful production car from the company with the four rings. A super sports car of the purest water with driving performance like from the racing universe: 3,2 seconds at 100 km / h say almost everything. The V10 vacuum, which is not trendy turbocharged, but deeply breathing, sets the best values ​​in many disciplines as the mid-engine in the R8 plus: 610 hp, 9,9 seconds at 200 km / h and a top speed of 330 km / h make it clear that the Gray times, the company slandered as a philistine brand with the four rings has long since broken out on other shores and arrived there at the latest ten years ago.

Chief Development Officer Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg calls the new R8 plus "the strongest, fastest and sharpest production Audi of all time", but not counting the future (note from editor). Who knows what else is coming.

Virtual cockpit and a steering wheel almost like in racing. All photos Audi

Virtual cockpit and a steering wheel almost like in racing. All photos Audi

Sure, the R8 is the dynamic spearhead of the brand and as close to racing as no production Audi before. It is also available in a "weaker" version with 540 hp. But this variant also gives a feeling of racing and with a sports exhaust system a sound for the goose bumps. The propellant, which rotates up to 8700 rpm, roars and roars, shrieks, hisses and trumpets that it is a pleasure. Jericho we are coming!

The R8 is the exception in the Audi portfolio, but it undoubtedly gives the brand an even sportier touch, because apart from the successes in Le Mans and other long-distance classics, it can be seen in everyday life on and around the normal streets of the world latest version will be seen from autumn. Since 2007, the R8, which was supplemented by the Spyder in 2010, has sold almost 27.000 vehicles.

From the outside, the new R8 is not really immediately recognizable as new. Its basic shape has remained, a few sharper edges on the face, a fairly successful rear end, slit-like laser headlights - that's it. If a few designers now protest that a brand new car is here, they are quite right. But to recognize that, you have to place the predecessor next to it. The new one looks somehow more precise, sharper - yes - for the sake of peace - better.

However, a lot has changed inside. It starts with the “virtual cockpit” and does not end with the absolutely sporty steering wheel with its buttons integrated as satellites. Finding the optimal setting for virtual instrumentation is not as plausible as it could be. However, after a few days, the owner should feel at home in the variety of controls. The virtual cockpit is not only impressive in the R8, but also in other models of the group or the Audi brand.

The V10 is on display under glass

The V10 is on display under glass

Audi did well to present the R8 on a racetrack. Here he feels comfortable and shows that the engineers developed the racing car for customer sport parallel to the road vehicle. In any case, the road R8 is more a racing car than a road sports car. Even in comfort mode, the R8 rolls dry to the bone, making any bumps in the road knock on the tailbone. Yes and? What did we expect if we wanted to drive a super sports car? Moving the R8 on the racetrack is pure pleasure. Even at the limit, you have to be very stupid to provoke an uncontrollable spin. The all-wheel drive with its variable power distribution minimizes any oversteer into harmless drift that is easy to control even by inexperienced people.

Braking fast corners and accelerating out quickly becomes a pleasure. The precision in steering is remarkable. You don't have to be a racer to use the lightning-quick downshift of the 7-speed dual clutch transmission to accelerate fully in the curve again. In conjunction with the variable quattro drive, the R8 immediately rushes forward.

The variability of the power distribution is extreme: it enables the power flow on the front or rear wheels to be 100 percent. In plain language: If necessary, a front-wheel drive becomes a pure rear-wheel drive in hundreds of a second. Unbelievable what is possible. No wonder that the multi-plate clutch on the front axle has to be actively cooled with water.

In addition to the engine, extensive measures in body construction promote the dynamics. Carbon and aluminum, an intelligent mix of materials have made the R8 50 kilograms lighter than its predecessor. The R8 V10 plus weighs only 1555 kilograms without a driver. Audi proudly reports that consumption has dropped by up to 13 percent. Also thanks to the deactivation of a cylinder bank with low power requirements. That this is gray theory, which is only proven on the test bench, may be correct. It is true that the combined standard consumption stipulates 12,3 liters or 11,4 liters, the value can reach the 20-liter mark even when driving quickly. If you want to be on the go as a climate saver, this is the wrong place.

The first R8 plus will be delivered in autumn. It can already be ordered. Thanks to extensive equipment options, the basic price of 187.400 euros is by no means the end of the story. If you want the R8 in "camouflage green matt", you can put 5.500 euros on it. The laser light costs € 3.380 extra, a few extra parts in carbon can be paid with € 5.900, the full leather equipment in fine Nappa can be rewarded with € 7.900 and ceramic brakes are available with € 8.900 in the price list.

An interesting extra is a 3-year connection guarantee up to 150.000 km, which costs 4.900 euros extra. It's also cheaper for 2.000 euros: but only up to a maximum of 50.000 km.

This won't scare customers. In any case, you get a real super sports car with extreme driving performance, which, given the competition, can be called inexpensive.

Technical data Audi R8 plus: two-seater super sports car / coupé, length: 4,42 meters, width: 1,94 meters, height: 1,24 meters, wheelbase: 2,65 meters, empty weight: 1.555 kilograms, trunk volume: 112 liters / rear the seats 226 liters, tank capacity: 73 liters, engine: 5,2-liter ten-cylinder in a V-shape, power: 610 hp at 8.250 rpm, max. Torque: 560 Newton meters at 6.500 rpm, 0 - 100 km / h: 3,2 seconds, maximum speed: 330 km / h, average consumption: 12,3 liters Super Plus / 100 km, CO2 emissions: 287 g / km, Price: from 187.400 euros.

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