Paris Auto Show, September 28, 2006 – Outwardly based on the Le Mans concept car first released at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, the new R8 takes advantage of Audi’s immense motor sport program and puts them on the supercar map for the first time. Highlights include a lightweight aluminum space frame, Quattro four-wheel drive and a 420 bhp V8.
A dry sump version of the RS4’s engine is used with FSI direct injection pioneered by the LeMans racecar its named after. Having the dry sump allows Audi to push the engine lower to the ground, while the two-step direct injection provides for more bhp and better fuel economy.
Power is given to all four wheels through Audi’s Quattro permanent four wheel system that uses a viscous clutch for front and rear power distribution. This is attached to either a 6-speed manual or shift-by-wire R-Tronic transmission. For the later, twin paddles are included behind the steering wheel and send electronic signals to an electro-hydraulic gearbox.
The exterior of the car is compact with curious air apertures below the front and rear lights give the R8 a distinctive flair. Aerodynamics also dictated some of the design which has two large diffuser openings and a small popup rear spoiler that provides additional down force.
Inside, the R8 has room for two and a golf-bag sized storage behind the sports seats. The dashboard has a high center console and the steering wheel has a flat bottom like many of Audi’s motor sports cars. Many interior options are available including a carbon fibre trim kit, bucket seats and a rear view camera.
One interesting development on the R8 is the use of magnetorheological dampers probably sourced from Delphi. The very same units are used on the Corvette and Ferrari 599 to instantly change the viscosity of the dampers and adjust suspension damping on the fly.
R8 made its official debut one day before the Paris Auto Show in La Defense with speeches from Tom Kristensen and Jacky Ickx. It was later shown at the Paris Motor Show where Audi took the very first orders that will be delivered in mid-2007.
Production will begin at the historic Neckarsulm site which currently builds chassis for the Lamborghini Gallardo. Each car will be custom built with the only major option being the R-Tronic transmission. Base price will be around $130 000 USD which makes it direct competition to the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
With just 6,350 miles on the clock, this stunning one-owner R8 Quattro coupe makes that case with its mid-mounted 4.2 L/420 HP V-8, R-Tronic automated transmission and Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Its White paint is punctuated with high-tach carbon fiber side blades, LED exterior lighting, a retractable rear spoiler and large diameter spoked alloy wheels; carbon fiber is also used extensively in the contrasting Black leather interior, which also offers power sport seats and a 6-disc CD player.
Finished in Ibis White with a black interior, this R8 was purchased on November 8, 2008, from Bozeman Audi in Bozeman, Montana. The owner, a renowned Southern California collector, has invested in some minor upgrades, including the installation of a protective clear bra and the addition of a Milltek non-resonating cat-back exhaust system with an enlarged tailpipe that provides a throatier exhaust note and lifts horsepower as much as 10% above manufacturer- quoted ratings. Standard features on this car include heated 10-way power sport seats, a seven-speaker 140-watt sound system, a six-disc CD changer, satellite radio and Bluetooth interface. Optioned equipment includes a gated six-speed shifter, navigation system, 19″ polished alloy wheels, leather and Alcantara seat upholstery and headliner.