Audi R8: 9 things you didn’t know

By Alex Inwood, 20 Jun 2016 Car Reviews

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Audi R8

So you’ve got a lazy $350K sitting around and you want to get an Audi R8. Alex Inwood compiles some interesting details you won’t find on the specs-sheet.

  1. It has a spine made from carbonfibre and aluminium to keep weight down and increase structural rigidity. Almost 80 percent of the Audi R8 is made from lightweight aluminium, while carbonfibre is used on the centre tunnel, rear wall and b-pillars.

  2. It’s a big seller. Well, kind of. Over 400 examples of the original R8 were sold in Australia since its launch in 2007, which in the world of supercars, is mighty impressive.

  3. It generates real downforce. 140kg of the stuff to be precise. 40kg of this is felt over the front axle at the R8’s 330km/h top speed, while that fixed carbonfibre rear wing on range-topping V10 Plus models accounts for 100kg.

  4. It might be a German supercar, but it has the beating heart of an Italian. Audi is part of the Volkswagen Group, which also owns Lamborghini, and the R8’s 5.2-litre V10 engine is lifted straight from the Lamborghini Huracan. In fact, Audi engineers admit that 98 percent of the R8’s mechanical package is shared with the Huracan.

  5. The V10 is also virtually identical to the one used in Audi’s hardcore R8 GT3 racing car. The only differences are found in the racecar’s manifold and air restrictor.

  6. Oh, and if you’re wondering how much a V10 engine weighs, the road-going R8’s hits the scales at 257kg.

  7. The V10 is clever too. Under light loads it can shut down half its cylinders to save fuel.

  8. You can even use it for carrying stuff. Yep, the R8 has a 112 litre boot in its nose and 226 litres of storage hidden behind its seats. Audi says the space behind the pews is big enough to swallow a golf bag.

  9. There’s no longer a V8 version. Or a manual! The old R8 had an entry-level model powered by a V8 engine, but Audi has dropped it in favour of a two-tier, all-V10 range. And if you’re a lover of manual gearboxes, best you look elsewhere. Every R8 is now fitted with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.