Audi's imposing R8 is being bolstered with an outrageous 5.2-litre V10 that pushes out a head-spinning 386 kW. Feel the goosebumps…
With a displacement of 5 204 cm3, the naturally aspirated ten-cylinder produces 386 kW at 8 000 r/min (it red-lines at 8 700…) and a thumping 530 Nm at 6 500 r/min. The two extra cylinders, according to Audi, add a mere 31 kg to the weight of the V8 and this V10 weighs a mere 258 kg.
This engine, which uses FSI direct injection, coupled with the R8's all-aluminium Audi Space Frame that dramatically keeps the car's weight down, propels the R8 from standstill to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and to 200 km/h in 8.1 seconds, the manufacturer says. A top end of 316 km/h is claimed.
The 5.2 FSI quattro uses a six-speed manual transmission to drive the four wheels. The sequential R tronic is also an option, and while the experience may be more detaching than the sound of that intoxicating clack-clack-clack of the manual shifter being mashed through the aluminium gear gates, Audi does say that shift times through the steering wheel shift paddles are less than one-tenth of a second...
Incidentally, with R tronic, the V10 returns an average fuel consumption of 13.7 l/100 km.
But even more than the eight-cylinder R8, this car is set up for maximum performance.
Magnetic ride, Audi's adaptive damper system that alters the suspension characteristics in line with road conditions and driving style within milliseconds, is standard. The system uses magnetic particles suspended in the oil in the shock absorbers to rearrange themselves to slow the flow of oil through the valves when a voltage is applied.
19-inch wheels (235/35 and 295/30 at the front and rear, respectively) are standard and eight cylinder pistons are used at the front while the rear discs make use of four pots. A high-performance, long-wearing ceramic brake system that weighs 9kg less than the standard steel discs, is optional.
As for its appearance, this car's styling is sharper and looks even sportier than the eight-cylinder.
A key feature on the R8 V10 are the all-LED headlamps that are standard.
More minor differences include the front air inlets and the lip of the front apron that are painted in high-gloss black, cross-braces that have been reduced from four to two and the vanes of the grille that now have a chrome finish.
Furthermore, side sills are wider, the rear grille has a matt aluminium finish and, the coup de grâce, the V10 is proudly displayed in the large rear window.
If the effect of the eight-cylinder R8 was massive, the 5.2-litre V10 will be colossal. The flagship R8 goes on sale in European markets from the second quarter of 2009.
In a statement, Audi SA said that while the R8 V10's local introduction still needs to be confirmed, indications are it could be made available here in the third quarter of 2009. Pricing will be confirmed then, too.