Audi R8 V10, Four-Wheel Drive Coupled With Aluminum Frame And Racing Suspension


Seen in many a spy photo, the Audi R8 V10 takes the German marque up into the top of the supercar class, competing with Ferrari and Lamborghini, which of course is owned by Audi. However, the Audi looks so different from the Gallardo that the two cars will attract different buyers.

Not the lightest of supercars, despite its aluminum frame and body, the Audi R8 V10 is nevertheless a very fast car, with a top speed of 196 mph, and the ability to reach 60 mph in about 3.8 seconds under that 4 second barrier.

Audi R8 stylish teutonic design

The new model looks almost exactly the same as the existing R8, except for a few minor differences such as the use of LED headlamps and wisder side cooling vents. It has a rear diffuser and oval exhaust pipes. As on the V-8, the engine is visible through the rear window. Overall, the Audi R8 is still a sleek, purposeful design in the Teutonic mold. Spoiled a little by the black side panels which break up the flowing lines.

Inside you could be sitting in almost any other Audi. Plain leather, a wheel with a flat bottom section, and the usual plastic-looking fascia. However, there are a few extra features to distinguish this model.

Super V-10 engine with direct injection 

Like the V-8, the new 90-degree V-10, similar to the Lamborghini unit, and to that used in turbo form in the RS6, is a direct injection unit, the direct injection liberating a little more power, and improving fuel consumption.

Power output is 525 bhp at 8,000 rpm and the red line is set at 8,700 rpm, so you get an engine designed for high revs, and not far removed from a racing engine. This is borne out by the fact that peak torque of 390 lb ft (530 Nm) is produced at 6,500 rpm. You will want to keep the engine spinning to see off the V-8, which produces its torque at a much lower speed.

Even so, thanks to the use of variable valve timing, the engine pulls smoothly and can run at low speeds. You won't be disappointed with this power unit, so long as you use the gears. It is a dry sump unit, so you will be able to indulge in track days, and this supercar is designed to comply with some sports car racing classes.

Six-speeds and four-wheel drive

In standard form, the engine is coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox, with the option of the sequential box with paddle controls, which works very well indeed. As on the R8, the Audi quattro four-wheel drive system is incorporated to give maximum grip in all conditions. Despite the larger engine, the weight distribution remains at 44 per cent front to 56 per cent rear, which is near ideal.

Audi R8 aluminum space frame

All this power is tucked into an aluminum space frame made from extrusions and castings which is a lot lighter than a steel structure would have been. The complete body and frame weighs only 463 lb (210 kg), which is not too bad at all.

Suspension is by double wishbones front and rear, and the power-assisted steering is hydraulic, despite the attractions of electric power on a mid-engined car. Audi claims that the car can be reach 1.2 g side force when cornering, which is well up to the mark.

Magneto-rheological dampers for better control

To improve the ride and handling balance, magneto-rheological dampers are used. These provide continuously variable damping.

In this system, the damper fluid contains minute magnetic particles. When a voltage is applied to these particles, they change the angles at which they lie, increasing resistance. This allows the damping to be set up to adjust to the contours of the road as it happens and also to iron out pitch and roll yet providing a good ride at lower speeds.

Big disc brakes, option of carbon ceramic

There are large 19-inch diameter wheels with double spoke alloy wheels. These are the same as on the V8. The brakes are pretty massive - 15-inch (380 mm) discs at the front with 8-pot calipers, and 14-inch (356 mm) discs at the rear with 4-pot calipers. There is an option of carbon ceramic discs, which reduce un-sprung weight by 20 lb (9 kg).

All this goes together to make an exciting supercar with very rapid performance, the quattro system giving plenty of cornering power and stability.

But what about the weight? The aluminum space frame with aluminum panels should result in low weight. However, the Audi R8 V10 weighs 463 lb (210 kg) more than the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, which has four-wheel drive and which is a little smaller than the Audi. So this is not a lightweight supercar, but nor is it much overweight. Overall, with 525 bhp on tap, the Audi R8 V10 is a very exciting supercar.

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