Embodied in the R8 DNA is know-how acquired on the racetrack and from the legacy of Audi endurance racing. For the first time ever, Audi co-developed the all-new R8 with the all-new GT3 race car, the Audi R8 LMS. Both the new Audi R8 and the R8 LMS made significant performance gains, thanks to the close cooperation between race car engineers, motorsports specialists and developers. The result was just under 50 percent common parts shared between the two models including the V10 engine and a new ASF® aluminum construction with innovative light-weight multi-material construction. Design cues throughout the R8 also harken back to its racing roots, such as the prominent wheel arches and vertical lighting design, which are suggestive of the R18 LMP1 racecar.
Racing Heritage and DNA
The Audi R8 has always embodied the essence of a true high-performance sports car. Each R8 model leverages a mid-engine drivetrain layout – directly inherited from the original R8 prototype that secured five victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The new R8 offers two updated versions of the infamous high-revving, naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 FSI® engine and a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, which integrates with the Audi drive select system. Available on the R8 for the first time, Audi drive select offers four modes: comfort, auto, dynamic, and individual, and on R8 V10 plus models, an additional 'performance mode' with dry, wet, and snow programming which allows for enhanced performance based on the selected road condition.
Powertrain and Performance
The new transmission not only focuses on high levels of performance and acceleration but also emphasizes efficiency. On V10 models, the gear ratio configuration is referred to as 6+overdrive, with the top track speed being reached in the 6th gear. V10 plus models feature a gear set uniquely suited for high-performance oriented driving with no overdrive gears. In this set up, gears 3 through 7 feature shorter ratios that provide a closer shift pattern, allowing the V10 FSI® engine to remain at a higher RPM to allow for increased performance. In this configuration, the top track speed is reached in 7th gear. As another benefit to the S tronic dual-clutch transmission, both R8 models offer a launch control program that allows a heightened level of acceleration through precise engine speed and an automated clutch release.
Seven speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission
As in racing, the aerodynamics of the Audi R8 have been optimized to help balance drag and downforce. The underbody features drag reduction panels to ensure a smooth surface and NACA ports, which allow additional air to be channeled through the engine bay or to other critical drivetrain components. The drag coefficient is 0.34 with adaptive rear spoiler retracted or 0.35 with it extended, and 0.36 with the fixed rear wing spoiler.
Designed for performance
The chassis for the high-performance sports cars also employs technologies from racing. The R8 uses a double-wishbone design for both the front and rear suspension systems. The suspension weight is kept low through the use of forged aluminum control arms, while local dynamic rigidity has been enhanced by connecting the control arms directly to the ASF® chassis. The all-new R8 also features a completely unique application of the quattro® system. By default, the majority of torque is transmitted to the rear wheels, however, given certain driving conditions, the R8 has the ability to send up to 100 percent of all available torque to the front axle. This is made possible by new technologies such as the electronically controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch on the front axle, torque vectoring, and quattro integration within the Audi drive select system.
Chassis and Suspension
The mid-engine concept provides the basis for the striking design of the new Audi R8. With the cockpit positioned forward and a long flowing roofline that extends to the rear of the vehicle, the new R8 has an unmistakable silhouette that instantly conveys its racing DNA. The strong shoulder line is now uninterrupted by the new two-piece design of the Audi sideblade and the hidden door handles. Dimensions are similar to the previous generation but further emphasize the flat, wide and muscular characteristics of the R8 – decreasing half an inch in height and length but increasing half an inch in width. The new R8 utilizes Audi expertise in lightweight design through an all-new application of the iconic ASF® lightweight chassis, through the use of 13 percent carbon fiber materials. The new multi-material construction has not only helped lessen the vehicle's static and dynamic weight, with the V10 plus weighing 88 pounds less compared to the previous generation and the V10 weighing 143 pounds less, but also allows for improved chassis performance with 40 percent greater rigidity. Finally, new R8 models also feature an exhaust system with integrated twin-trapezoidal exhaust outlets and variable exhaust flaps that, once opened, provide an electrifying exhaust note. The V10 plus models come standard with black exhaust outlets mated to a sport exhaust system for increased aural excitement.
Design and Body
•Singleframe® grille with three dimensional honeycomb design and Anthracite Gray finish •Full LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED taillights with dynamic turn signals •Standard on V10 models are 19' 5-V-spoke design cast aluminum wheels in silver finish and standard on V10 plus are 19' 5-double-spoke design forged aluminum wheels in matte titanium finish •Adaptive rear spoiler (V10) or carbon fiber fixed rear wing spoiler (V10 plus) •Two-piece sideblade design
Design and body highlights include:
Like the first generation R8, the interior is defined by the monoposto, the large arc that pays homage to the shape of a racecar cockpit, with driver-oriented, easy-to-operate controls and functions. Behind the wheel is the Audi Virtual cockpit, which replaces the classic instrument panel and instead features a large, high-resolution 12.3-inch display, delivering vibrant color at 60 frames per second. Available for the first time on an R8 is Audi connect®, offering infotainment features such as 4G LTE connectivity, destination entry via myAudi, travel information, Internet radio and a Wi-Fi® hotspot for passenger use. Also, with available Audi connect, Google Earth™ satellite maps appear across the entire virtual cockpit allowing the driver to better navigate each turn in the road or the track ahead.
•Standard 18-way power seats with Fine Nappa leather for V10 models; standard on V10 plus models is a racing shell seat offering more lateral support and contoured seat styling. •Three-spoke multifunction flat-bottom sport steering wheel with shift paddles and two steering wheel-mounted satellite buttons (engine Start/Stop and Audi drive select). The R8 V10 plus steering wheel adds two additional satellite buttons for the Performance mode selector and Sport exhaust. •Bang & Olufsen® Sound System featuring 13 speakers capable of producing 550 watts of pure, crisp sound (standard V10, optional V10 plus). With uncompromised performance and unmistakable design, the R8 model line has represented the pinnacle of Audi performance since its introduction in 2008, and this all-new 2017 R8 is no exception. Competing as part of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series, the all-new R8 LMS will make its US racing debut at the ROLEX 24 at Daytona on January 30, 2016. Watch as the first generation R8 passes the baton to its worthy successor the all-new 2017 R8: https://youtu.be/KOxbO0EI4MA
Additional interior features include: