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2015-02-27 09:34

NEXT R8 SPORTS CAR: Audi’s second-generation R8 will arrive in South Africa in the second quarter of 2016. Image: Audi

  • Second-generation Audi R8
  • New 5.2 FSI V10
  • 0-100km/h in 3.2 sec
  • As much as 50kg lighter

INGOLSTADT, Germany – Audi’s second-generation R8 sports car will debut at the 2015 Geneva auto show in March and be in Europe's showrooms later in the year.

South Africa has to wait until the second quarter of 2016 for delivery - and bear in mind that in Europe the V10 (a new engine) costs the equivalent of R2.1-million and the V10 Plus R2.4-million. South African prices, as always, will be announced at the local launch.

The latest R8 has subtle design changes, the new V10, new all-wheel drive and the latest in Audi  technology.


The previous 4.2 V8 has been superseded by a non-turbo, 5.2-litre, V10 in two variants. Standard, it’s capable of 402kW/540Nm, 100km/h in 3.5sec and 323km/h. The R8 Plus is tuned for 454kW/560Nm, 3.2sec and 330km/h.


Each drives a seven-speed S tronic transmission; fuel consumption for the standard version rated at 11.8 litres/100km with emissions  of 275g/km, the Plus at 12.4/100km and 289g/km. The S Tronic comes with manual mode, launch control and coasting mode.

The R8 V10 Plus has a dry weight of 1454kg, 50kg less than its predecessor.


Ulrich Hackenberg, board member for technical development at Audi, said: “Motorsport is in Audi’s genes, it has always been a permanent feature of our brand’s character. With the new Audi R8, our engineers are bringing accumulated racing expertise from the race track onto the road. No other model of ours evokes more dynamic emotion.

"All of that," Audi says, "makes the new R8 V10 Plus the most powerful and fastest series production Audi yet."

Its underbody, Audi says, has a diffuser to boost downforce. Its chassis, with double wishbone suspension, demonstrates how close the to motorsport is the new Audi R8.


The design of remains largely unchanged from the outgoing version at 4.42m long, 1.24m tall and on a 2.65m wheelbase. Its dimensions have changed slightly from its predecessor, the most obvious being an extra 4cm in width.  

In terms of styling it has a squared-off, single-frame grille with trapezoidal diod lights (“laser-powered” beams as an option) and restyled air intakes. The new R8 boasts dynamic turn signals with a “scrolling function” for the intended turn direction. The rear is more angled and the previous round exhausts are replaced by trapezoidal outlets.

It’s equipped with 19” alloy rims shod with 245/30 (front) and 245/35 (rear) tyres though 20” are available. The Plus version uses carbon-ceramic brakes, the standard steel. The standard V10 has a powered spoiler, the Plus uses a fixed carbon-fibre wing.


Like the new TT, launched in South Africa in February 2015, the new R8 has digital displays on its configurable 31cm Virtual Cockpit. The most important controls are grouped in button clusters on the steering wheel. Audi’s MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is standard.

According to Audi: “The multimaterial Audi Space Frame (ASF) ensures low-weight and optimum axle load distribution. The combination of aluminium and carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) in the Audi Space Frame opens up new dimensions with regard to weight, rigidity and crash behaviour.”


The second generation of the Audi R8 forms the basis for more models. The latest version of the electric, high-performance R8 e-tron sports car is capable of 339kW/920Nm and sprints to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds.

Equipped with new battery cells, Audi claims its E-tron’s range “now exceeds 450km.

The new Audi R8 LMS race car was developed based on the new GT3 regulations due to come into effect worldwide from 2016. In 2015 it will already be put through its paces at the factory. Despite massive performance increases, about 50% of its components are the same as the series-production car.


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