The 2008 Audi R8 developed from the 2003
Audi Le Mans concept and named after Audi's five time Le
Mans winning race car, the R8, was the first mid-engined sports
car from the German auto maker.
The Audi R8 features a 4.2 litre V8 engine and quattro permanent
all-wheel-drive slotted into an all-aluminium space frame body.
Giving the car a 0-60 mph time of just 4.6 seconds and a 187
mph top speed. And with its mid-engine layout the Audi R8 has
a weight distribution identical to that of its race car namesake,
44 percent to the front, 56 percent to the rear.
The R8 takes Audi to the next level as a manufacturer
The Audi R8's designers have opted for LED lighting, these take
up less space and therefore allow for more creative positioning
on the car. As well as adding to the very slick detailing. Audi
have also delved into the world of bionics (drawing design inspiration
from nature) for the headlights and created a design inspired
by an open pine cone. Also up front the trademark Audi rings
are mounted on the hood, as opposed to the traditional position
on the grille.
The distinctive panel behind the door and side window of the
R8 is available in 3 different colors and materials including
and brushed aluminium. The Aerodynamic properties of the Audi
R8 are enhanced by an automatically extending rear spoiler to
help keep the car firmly planted to the road.
Inside, the Audi R8 is characterised by a driver orientated
layout. A high center console, angled instrument panel, and
flat bottomed steering
wheel all increase the race car vibe. The supportive sports
seats are trimmed in either a leather/Alcantara combination
or full leather. Or for the more hardcore racing bucket
seats can be fitted.
Similar and related vehicles:
- Audi Le
Audi R8 Spider
Audi R8 V10
Audi R8 V12 TDI
Audi R8 GT3
Audi RS 6 Sedan
Audi RS 6 Avant
Audi TTS (2008)
Audi TT S-Line (2007)
Audi TT V6 Quattro (2007)
Audi TT V6 Quattro
Audi TT V6 Convertible
Audi A4 Quattro S-Line (2008)
Audi RS4 Saloon
Audi RS4 Cabriolet
Audi S4 (2009)
Audi A5 Cabriolet
Audi S5 Cabriolet
Audi Press Release:
Audi has incorporated the name and the genes of the five-time
Le Mans winner, the Audi R8, into a spectacular sports car.
Three years after the unveiling of the Audi Le Mans quattro
concept car, the production version will be making its debut
at the Paris Motor Show in the guise of the new Audi R8 mid-engined
sports model. It is a fascinating driving machine and the sporty
pinnacle of the Audi brand. The mid-mounted 420 bhp V8 FSI engine,
quattro permanent four-wheel drive and Audi Space Frame aluminium
body form the basis for truly outstanding driving dynamics.
The Audi R8 will be available to order from 28 September 2006;
first deliveries will be made in the first half of 2007.
As the first Audi mid-engined sports car, the R8 combines Audi's
experience gained from numerous motorsport triumphs with groundbreaking
design and the acknowledged technological expertise of the brand.
This expertise has led to the slogan 'Vorsprung durch Technik'
becoming a byword for leading-edge technology both on the race
track and on the road.
Audi has recorded countless motorsport victories on race tracks
all over the world. Following the rally successes of the Ingolstadt
brand in the 1980s, and its triumphs on the touring car circuit,
the world of long-distance motor racing was without a doubt
the biggest challenge yet faced by Audi's motorsport engineers.
And they mastered this challenge in style too: the Audi R8 won
the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours five times – from 2000 to 2002
and in 2004 and 2005 – and on two occasions even took the first
Le Mans is without doubt the toughest challenge to the Audi
Sport Team's engineers because it calls for a level of engineering
going far beyond the need merely to keep all the systems focussed
on a short, sharp sprint. Alongside the essential virtues of
top performance and optimised driving dynamics, the key requirements
in long-distance racing are endurance and reliability, allied
with optimum ergonomic design.
These are genes which are eminently transferable to a road-going
sports car too, and which, allied to its exciting design, make
the Audi R8 truly unmistakeable.
Even at first glance, the calibre of the car is plain to see.
The Audi R8 sits broad and squat on the road, the strongly accentuated
rear end appearing to flex its muscles like a sprinter ready
for the off.
The characteristic proportions of the vehicle are dictated by
the location of the engine behind the cockpit. This layout is
a typical feature of race cars. One of the most striking examples
of this design – and as such one of the legitimate antecedents
of the Audi R8 – was, and still is, the Auto Union Type C Grand
Prix car. The central position of the engine is above all a
boon to driving dynamics, as it allows for a weight distribution,
as on the R8, of 44 percent to the front and 56 percent to the
The car's body is highly compact in appearance. The front end
and the gently curved roof arc are drawn in a sweeping line;
a line which immediately marks the two-seater out as an Audi.
The side view also reveals familiar contours. The dynamic line
above the wheel arches and the shoulder line interlink the front
end, side and rear, imbue the doors and the transition to the
side air vent with a strong presence, and even more emphatically
highlight the typical Audi rounded wheel housings accommodating
the big wheels.
The cabin of the Audi R8 is pushed far forward – a typical feature
of a mid-engined sports car, and as such a visual cue linking
it to the race car of the same name. Behind the cabin, positioned
in front of the rear axle, is the V8 FSI engine, a sculptured
piece of engineering visible both through the large, shield-shaped
rear window and from inside the car.
1.90 metres wide but just 4.43 metres long and 1.25 metres high:
these are the proportions of a true sports car. The 2.65-metre
wheelbase offers room for the astonishingly spacious cabin and
the longitudinally mounted engine behind it. Behind the doors,
a large-surface 'sideblade' air deflector sweeps between the
wheel arch and the roof section, delivering air for the V8 to
breathe as well as for cooling. The paint finish of the sideblades
is coordinated with the body colour.
The front end is characterised by the trapezoidal styling of
the Audi single-frame grille, flanked on the right and left
by additional large-dimensioned air intakes. For the first time,
the four-ring badge is positioned on the bonnet, above the grille.
The flat strips of the innovative LED headlights, with their
clear-glass covers, join flush to the tops of the air intakes.
The R8 is the first series-production car to offer the option
of ordering all the headlight functions – dipped beam, main
beam, daytime running lights and indicators – as LEDs. LED stands
for 'light-emitting diodes', and represents a technology which
offers substantial advantages over conventional bulbs based
on a much longer life.
Because they take up less space than conventional lights, LEDs
provide the designers with greater freedom to be creative. The
design of the strikingly three-dimensional main headlights,
using LED technology, is particularly eye-catching.
Bionics, in other words drawing design inspiration from nature,
has been deployed on the R8's headlights. The light unit has
a design reminiscent of an open pine cone. Reflector shells
arranged concentrically one behind the other, in conjunction
with a powerful LED projection system, concentrate the light
from one multi-chip LED, producing a high-luminosity, even form
of driving light.
The internal reflectors of the main beam headlight are styled
in a shape inspired by the architecture of the Sydney Opera
House. And in contrast to them, the daytime running lights delimit
the underside of the headlight as narrow strips of light – delivering
distinctive signals and providing an innovative visual touch.
It will be possible to order LED headlights as options from
the end of 2007 onwards.
The interplay of concave and convex lines contours the side-on
view of the rear end. Underneath the clearly defined separation
edge there is a flat vertical surface framed at its sides by
the rear lights – also in LED technology. The third brake light
strip runs across virtually the full width of the roof, forming
the termination of the transparent engine hood.
The latter feature is yet another visual highlight. The observer
looks right onto the V8, the very heart of this sports car.
Indirect engine compartment lighting by white LEDs, enabling
the engine to be seen even in the dark, is available as an option.
Two large-format diffuser
openings in the rear bumper illustrate how intensively the styling
of the Audi R8 is dictated by aerodynamics.
The two pairs of circular twin exhaust tailpipes each sit at
the right and left above the diffuser openings.
An automatically extending rear spoiler is deployed to assist
the R8 in using the wind. It provides additional downforce
to boost the suction effect produced by the aerodynamic styling
of the underbody and by the diffusers. When travelling at lower
speeds, the rear spoiler automatically retracts flush with the
The full aluminium body is constructed in the Audi Space Frame
(ASF) design. Its perfect synthesis of minimal weight and maximum
rigidity provides the ideal foundation for optimum driving dynamics,
as well as delivering an outstanding power-to-weight ratio of
just 3.71 kg per bhp.
The sporty interior is dominated by a totally driver-oriented
cockpit architecture, integrating the driver between the dashboard
and the high centre console. The instrument panel above the
console is angled slightly towards the driver. The flat-bottomed
steering wheel is a typical feature of the sportiest Audi models,
and also enables comfortable sports car entry and exit.
Form follows function: this design principle is implemented
throughout the Audi R8. Alongside the driver-oriented architecture,
also reflected in the styling of the side window sills, the
choice of materials also makes for a highly functional look
and feel. Looking around when in the driving seat makes one
thing clear: just like in the R8 race car, the styling and placement
of all the elements in the cockpit of this driving machine is
focussed on the essentials. The centrepoint of everything is
This combination of the aesthetic and the ergonomic is maintained
in the colours used and the overall ambience created – dark
hues reflect the emphasis on engineering and are again reminiscent
of the motorsport world. The impression of professional functionality
and ergonomic styling is enhanced by the visible presence of
top-quality materials in supreme craftsmanship.
seats are trimmed as standard in a Leather/Alcantara combination,
or optionally in full leather. Alternatively, the R8 can also
be fitted with bucket
seats, specially developed by quattro GmbH. There is plenty
of room for the two occupants, with comfort levels well beyond
the norm of high-performance sports cars. There is space behind
the seats to stow large bags, or even two golf bags. The luggage
compartment at the front has a capacity of 100 litres.
With numerous trim variants and applications in Piano finish
or Carbon sigma, there are few limits to the range of customisation
options for the interior.
The drive train
Turbine-like power up to the highest rev ranges, a high maximum
torque, all combined with a fascinating sound, are the characteristics
of a perfect sports car engine. An engine that is fascinating
both in terms of its enormous power potential and its suitability
for everyday use.
In the high-revving 420 bhp eight-cylinder
engine, the evolution of FSI petrol direct
injection technology has reached a new high. This technology
has also enjoyed many triumphs in the Audi R8 race car.
The figures illustrate the outstanding potential of the eight-cylinder
unit. At 7,800 rpm the 4.2-litre engine delivers 309 kW (420
bhp) of power output. Peak torque is 430 Newton-metres from
4.500 to 6,000 rpm. And no less than 90 per cent of this maximum
torque is maintained consistently throughout a wide engine speed
range from 3,500 all the way to 7,600 rpm. As a result of these
qualities, the eight-cylinder power unit provides maximum thrust
in virtually any driving situation.
The performance figures are equally impressive: the R8 accelerates
from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds and reaches a top
speed of 301 km/h.
The engine is a high-revving unit. The maximum engine speed
is 8,250 rpm. The advantages of this principle are superior
power output at high engine speeds and a smooth, eager responsiveness
all across the revs range. Added to this are its agility, liveliness
and engine sound, which is similar to that of a race car.
The Audi R8's dry sump lubrication – another technology originating
directly from motor racing – provides the ideal basis for maximum
longitudinal and lateral acceleration. It allows the V8 to be
installed lower, thereby lowering the centre of gravity and
further enhancing driving dynamics.
Two transmissions are available: a manual 6-speed gearbox or
optionally the Audi R tronic sequential-shift gearbox. Here,
too, the influence of the motorsport world is clearly evident,
with a joystick gear-shift on the centre console and, most especially,
the paddles mounted on the steering wheel, which are a long-established
ergonomic feature in motorsport. The best illustration of this
is once again the Le Mans winning Audi R8, which also enables
the driver to change gear on the steering wheel.
'Shift by wire' technology provides for very fast gear-shifting
and an outstanding power-to-weight ratio, allied to compact
gearbox dimensions. The Sport mode, with its fast shifting,
guarantees the absolute maximum in terms of driving fun. An
automatic mode can also be selected.
Such a powerful Audi is of course fitted with permanent four-wheel
drive, which distributes the power variably to the front and
rear axles by way of a viscous clutch. On the Audi R8 the legendary
quattro system is adapted to the axle load distribution typical
of mid-engined cars.
The chassis features forged aluminium double wishbones at the
front and rear. At the front they are triangulated, while at
the rear the top one is triangulated and the bottom one is a
triangulated wishbone with a track rod. This provides for optimum
wheel control, and is a geometry which has proved itself to
be the ideal solution in delivering agility, maximum steering
precision and precisely defined self-steering characteristics.
Direct, hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering provides optimum
feedback to assist the driver.
The spring and damper set-up is stiff in order to deliver maximum
driving dynamics, while still providing a quite astonishing
level of ride comfort. This is particularly true when the 'Audi
magnetic ride' adaptive damper system is chosen as an alternative
to the standard gas-filled shock absorbers.
The reason for this is that these shock absorbers employ an
innovative technology. Instead of the conventional damper fluid,
a magnetorheological fluid is used – in other words, a fluid
whose viscosity can be influenced by an electromagnetic field.
This effect enables the damping characteristic to be influenced
electronically at will and instantaneously, by applying a voltage
to the electromagnets.
Audi magnetic ride uses this property to deliver the correct
damping forces in every driving situation, thus optimising ride
comfort and driving dynamics. A computer equipped with sensor
technology determines the prevailing driving situation in a
matter of milliseconds. Drivers can choose from two driving
programs depending on whether they want to drive in a highly
sporty style – with the magnetorheological fluid adjusted to
a low viscosity – or with the emphasis more on ride comfort.
The Audi R8 is fitted with 6-arm 18-inch wheels as standard,
and can optionally be ordered with 19-inch wheels. The 235/40
size tyres at the front and up to 285/35 at the rear provide
the necessary road-holding. This tyre configuration also ensures
that this mid-engined sports car is always able to translate
the dynamism of its drive train and chassis into optimum grip
and maximum lateral dynamics.
The mid-engined sports car's long wheelbase and extremely low
centre of gravity ensure that it always retains maximum stability,
resulting in superb agility, finely attuned responsiveness to
any driver input, and high levels of safety.
Equipment and trim
Even the standard equipment of the Audi R8 meets the high demands
of customers in this segment. Xenon plus lights, LED rear lights
and daytime running lights, 18-inch aluminium wheels, an audio
system with 7-inch monitor, an anti-theft alarm and Leather/Alcantara
interior trim are just some of the items on the extensive list
of standard features.
The range of optional extras leaves virtually nothing to be
desired. A Bang & Olufsen sound system, featuring an output
of 465 watts and 12 specially designed speakers, delivers surround
sound of the highest standard. A microphone-based vehicle noise
compensation system adjusts audio levels to changing road conditions
The acoustic parking system and a rear-view camera help the
driver to manoeuvre into even the tightest of spaces. The radio/navigation
system plus, featuring a large-format colour monitor and MMI
keypad, combines extensive functionality with extreme user-friendliness.
A range of coordinated and ideally combinable design and leather
trim packages from Audi and from quattro GmbH can turn any R8
into the customer's personal dream car.
The wheels range offers design alternatives in sizes of 18 and
19 inches, fitted with 235/35 size tyres at the front and up
to 295/30 at the rear. A total of eight exterior colours are
available, from Ibis White to Phantom Black, pearl effect.
The Audi R8 is being built on a small-lot production line in
a specially constructed new block at the Audi plant in Neckarsulm.
The entire production process – from the bodyshell construction
to final assembly – is organised in the same way as a craft
workshop. Small teams of specialists accompany every step of
production, subjecting every part and component to intense scrutiny.
This ensures that every one of the maximum of 15 cars per day
built will more than match the customary high quality standards
of the Audi product range.