Le Mans concept to become R8
The Le Mans concept was unveiled at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show and ever since there were rumours that it will reach production.
According to Audi the production version will be badged the R8. The R8 will be built at Audi's Neckarsulm plant and it will go on sale in the second quarter of 2008.
Audi says it is investing €28m in the R8 production line.
"Through the R8 we are looking to build on our successes in motorsport and carry them over to series production. This model represents Audi's very own interpretation of sportiness," says Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of Audi AG, about the new member of the Audi model range.
Audi is relying on intelligent lightweight design for its R8, a core area of expertise in Neckarsulm. The Audi A2, A6 and A8 were all developed at the Aluminium Centre there using lightweight design technology.
Rumours have it that there will be two engine choices for the R8.
Insiders suggest that the range-topper will get a reworked version of the Lamborghini Gallardo's potent 5-litre V10. However, in the R8 this engine will deliver more torque but less power.
The entry-level model R8 will get the red-hot RS4's naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 FSI unit. This V8 develops 310 kW at 8 250 r/min while maximum torque is 430 Nm at 5 500 r/min.