Design and body
The Audi R8 Coupe 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 tenses the sides.
Large air inlets with vertical fins and LED headlights flank the wide, low-profile Singleframe grille that has a strong 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 1,555 kg (3,428.2 lb), and the dry weight is a low 1,454 kg (3,205.5 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 multimaterial construction. It comprises 79 percent aluminum and 13 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.”
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 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. When drivers take their foot off the accelerator pedal at speeds over 55 km/h (34.2 mph), the R8 Coupe goes into a coasting mode. When the car comes to a stop, a start-stop system deactivates the V10 engine.
- 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 Coupe 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.
Alternatively, Audi will install dynamic steering. Besides integrating the quattro drive system, the Audi drive select system also integrates other systems into its four basic modes: 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 arch-shaped “monoposto” that wraps around the cockpit. The instrument panel appears to float weightlessly, and filigree-shaped controls for the automatic air conditioner 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 and 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 temperature, g-forces and lap times on the race track, for example.
The Audi R8 Coupe also comes with a generous set of standard equipment. One highlight is MMI navigation plus with MMI touch. The driver controls the system from the steering wheel, the MMI terminal on the console of the center tunnel or by voice commands. Audi connect is the perfect component to complement MMI navigation plus. It brings the R8 online via the high-performance LTE standard. The sound system from Bang & Olufsen and the Audi phone box round out the infotainment lineup.
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.