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Brand New Audi R8

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Tony O'Kane | Aug 12, 2009

AUDI'S FASTEST CAR YET, the V10-powered R8 5.2 FSI, is now on sale nationwide.

Since debuting at the Detroit Auto Show at the start of this year, it's been an eight-month wait for the car to arrive on Australian shores. However, for a select few Australians, the wait is over.

With 386kW and 530Nm bursting from the R8's 5.2 litre Lamborghini-derived V10 engine, the R8 5.2 FSI is Audi's quickest road-going vehicle. The 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched in a scant 3.9 seconds, and the 0-200km/h run (the true yardstick for supercars) is done away with in an additional 8.1 seconds.

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Top speed is a blistering 316km/h, and the dry-sumped and direct-injected V10 redlines at a stratospheric 8700rpm. Despite its tremendous speed, Audi claims the R8 V10 is also relatively frugal, consuming 13.7 litres of 98-octane petrol per 100km.

Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system transfers the V10's substantial grunt to the road, with a heavy rear torque-bias imparting a sportier feel.

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Australian-specification cars arrive with Nappa leather upholstery, satellite navigation, a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system and climate control as standard.

Also standard are 19-inch lightweight alloys shod in 235/35R19 tyres on the front and 295/30R19 tyres on the rear, as is Audi's Magnetic Ride variable damper system.

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Compared to its V8-powered sibling, the R8 5.2 FSI boasts a number of external differences. All-LED headlights are perhaps the most notable, as are the enlarged side air intakes for the V10 engine.

The front grilles are also re-styled, likewise the rear bumper and exhaust outlets.

The R8 5.2 FSI six-speed manual starts the V10 line-up at $351,000 before on-road costs, and the R8 5.2 FSI R tronic tops the range with its $366,900 pricetag.

Only 10 cars are believed to be heading Australia's way, with all of them apparently spoken for.

However, with Audi Australia actively pressing for more stock to cater to strong demand for its regular V8-powered R8, odds are more cars will come if more buyers put their hands up.

PRESS RELEASE

* New 5.2 litre V10 engine for R8 sports coupe

* Audi Space Frame, mid-ship engine and quattro all-wheel drive combine to produce a true thoroughbred

* V10 will continue the success of the V8 version in Australia

Audi's extraordinary R8 sports coupe has a new leader - the V10 version is now available in Australia.

Developed jointly with quattro GmbH, the R8 V10 sees Audi reinforcing its leading position in the high-performance sports car segment. The newly-developed ten-cylinder engine develops 386 kW of breathtaking performance while 530Nm of torque endows it with unstoppable power. Both R tronic sequential gearbox and a 6-speed manual transmission are available.

Audi's managing director, Joerg Hofmann, says this new model, while niche, will nonetheless significantly boost the brand's cache in the sportscar segment.

"The R8 V8 has been very successful in Australia, so much so that we have been securing additional production from other markets to fill our waiting lists. This new V10 version will certainly prove popular with an exclusive number of customers who want blistering performance, combined with head-turning design and the vast benefit offered by our vehicle which is everyday versatility," Mr Hofmann said.

quattro permanent all-wheel drive, Audi Space Frame ASF lightweight technology, mid-ship engine mounting and the innovative all-LED lights propel the new Audi model right to the top of its competitive field.

Offering clear proof of the benefits of these technologies, the R8 5.2 FSI quattro manual tips the scales at 1,620 kg thanks to its lightweight body. Built of aluminium in the Audi Space Frame design, it weighs just 210 kilograms. The ASF design is extremely rigid, which ensures dynamic, precise and secure handling as well as occupant safety.

The car is very highly-equipped including heated seat covers of Fine Nappa leather, Navigation system plus, Bang & Olufsen sound system and automatic air conditioning - all standard equipment. Carefully arranged interior details showcase the leading position of this top-of-the-line model - it evens offers 190 litres of luggage space behind the seats and under the front hood.

The exterior of this V10 version differs distinctly from its V8 sibling - particularly at the front, at the sideblades which provide the engine with intake air, and at the tail end. A very distinctive highlight of the R8 V10 is the all-LED headlights as standard equipment. Audi is the world's first automaker to use LEDs for the high beam, low beam, daytime running lights and turn signals.

The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro covers zero to 100 km/h in a blinding 3.9 seconds and passes the 200 km/h mark in another 8.1 seconds (R tronic). A top speed of 316 km/h exemplifies its breathtaking dynamics, coupled with a ferocious response to the accelerator, outstanding revving ability, and a thrilling engine note.

The V10 engine is firmly rooted in Audi's great motorsport tradition. It revs all the way up to 8,700 rpm - almost as high as a racing engine. At 6,500 rpm the naturally aspirated 5.2-litre engine delivers the full 530 Nm of torque, and at 8,000 rpm it achieves its maximum power output of 386 kW.

The ten-cylinder layout is ideal for maximum dynamism. Compared to a V8 with the same displacement, a V10 has smaller and lighter pistons and connecting rods, which makes it a free-revving engine. Compared to a V12, on the other hand, it has fewer components, resulting in lower moving masses and less internal friction. And it is very compact - even with all attached components the 10-cylinder engine is only 646 mm long, 737 mm wide and 696 mm high.

Thanks to direct injection FSI technology, the R8 5.2 FSI quattro with sequential R tronic transmission, gets by on an average of 13.7 litres per 100 km. Dry sump lubrication is another technology derived from motorsport that ensures oil feed in any position - even at the maximum transverse acceleration of 1.2 g.

The quattro permanent all-wheel drive distributes the engine's torque to all four wheels, with a strong bias towards the rear wheels. The R8 V10 quattro features an axle load distribution of 44 to 56 percent ' ideal for a mid-engine sports car. All four wheels are guided by dual aluminium wishbones. The suspension is tuned for a highly dynamic yet comfortable experience, thanks to Audi magnetic ride. This standard technology continually adapts the function of the shock absorbers to the requirements of the driver and the road.

Exclusive 19-inch wheels of 10-spoke Y design are standard equipment. The front wheels are equipped with size 235/35 tyres, the rear with size 295/30 tyres.

The R8 5.2 FSI quattro is a winner - its genes contain the cumulative experience of eight Le Mans triumphs and many other victories achieved by Audi over the past nine years.

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