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2015 Audi R8 V10 revealed with up to 449kW

The 2015 Audi R8 V10 has been revealed ahead of its debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month boasting up to 449kW and 560Nm of torque.

AUDI SAYS NONE of its other models are as close to motorsport as the R8, and that “none is more striking and more dynamic”.

The mid-mounted V10 and tweaked quattro all-wheel drive system has seen the new supercar become the fastest production Audi ever from rest to 100km/h and the first capable of officially pushing beyond 320km/h. According to Audi, it’s engineered the new R8 to be better on the road and track, but we’ll get to that.

The mid-mounted 5.2-litre FSI V10 is available in two states of tune, one with 397kW and 540Nm and the other, the R8  V10 Plus packing 449kW and 560Nm of torque. It’s the latter model that can sprint to 100km/h in an eye-watering 3.2 seconds. This engine is mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission and a newly developed quattro all-wheel drive system – up to 100% of torque can be shuffled to the front or the back depending on the driving conditions. Despite being stiffer and get more gear than its predecessor, the new Audi R8 V10 Plus is lighter by 50kg (1454kg). 

With double wishbones front and rear made from aluminium, the new R8 offers, for both engine variants as a cost option, variable adaptively controlled Audi magnetic ride shock absorbers. Electromechanical steering is standard but dynamic steering is available as a cost option, and this system adjusts the steering ratio varies in accordance with the road speed and the settings in the Audi drive select system.

2015 Audi R8 V10 revealed

As standard, the new Audi R8 V10 has 19-inch wheels with size 245/35 tyres at the front and 295/35 at the rear. The steel brake discs have a weight-saving wave design and the calipers can be painted red upon request. In the R8 V10 plus, high-tech discs made from carbon-fibre ceramic replace the steel discs.

Also new to the R8 is the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, which offers the driver a choice of four modes (comfort, auto, dynamic and individual) to control the way in which important technical components operate. As standard, the system takes into account the engine characteristics, steering, S tronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive system as well as optional extras such as Audi magnetic ride, the exhaust flaps and dynamic steering. On top of that, there is also a new performance mode (available as an option for the V10 and standard for the V10 plus). The driver activates it by pressing a separate button on the steering wheel. He or she can select between the programs dry, wet and snow using a rotary wheel. These programs support dynamic handling on dry, wet and snow-covered surfaces. In performance mode, Audi drive select also makes use of the ESC stabilisation control function.

Visually, the R8 V10 stands out thanks to its all-LED head-lights and ‘laser spot’ high beams (which throw out to 600m) as well as a scrolling function for both the front and rear turn indicators. The designers have evolved the design rather than re-styled it and have tried, or so they say, to create a sense, instantly, that you’re looking at a mid-mounted engine supercar. One trick they’ve pulled off has been to make the thing look bigger and longer than it actually is.

Indeed, at just 4.42 metres long, 1.24 metres high and 1.94 metres wide (wider by four centimetres) the R8 isn’t a big car. The front of the car now looks flatter and wider, thanks in no small part to the new headlights while the prominent shoulder line cutting into the wheel arches gives the thing a skin stretched tight over muscle look.

2015 Audi R8 V10 revealed

Inside, the R8 gets Audi’s virtual cockpit where all of the displays are digital with all of the “most important features” located on the steering wheel. According to Audi, “the driver has the impression of sitting in a racing car,” just without the stripped out interior and roll cage, etc etc. Hmmm.

The new Audi R8 is set to spawn two more models, the R8 e-tron 2.0 and R8 LMS. Audi says the its new R8 e-tron will produce 340kW and 920Nm of torque and have a 450km range thanks to increased battery capacity (up from 49kWh to 92kWh). 

And while Audi isn’t saying too much about its upcoming R8 LMS race car it has said it’s being built to new GT3 regulations and that it’s already been put through its paces at the factory. And while it features performance hikes it carries 50% of the same components as the road car.

Pricing has been released for Europe with order books opening around May and deliveries expected to begin later this year. There’s no word on pricing or specification for Australia.


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober