It's been a long and winding road but here she is in all her glory. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro.
The V10 powered R8 has come quite a way since its genesis a couple of years ago. Initial testing found issues with heat management for the mid-mounted engine and resulted in some spectacular footage showing a prototype car going up in flames, with the video consequently spreading around the web like wild fire (couldn't resist).
But now, after month-upon-month of development, Audi engineers have finally ironed out the bugs; which means we get to enjoy the most powerful Audi sports car ever made. Christmas has come early...
Sitting just behind the cabin is Audi's 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine, which punches out 386kW at a howling 8000rpm and 530Nm of torque at 6500 revs. Redline? A sky-high 8700rpm.
A 6-speed manual gearbox or Audi's R tronic sequential gearbox are on offer, with the R tronic offering manual control via paddle shifters. Launch control is offered on both transmissions which, when combined with Audi's Quattro AWD system, should see blistering 60ft times at the local drag strip.
She'll be quick down the quarter too, with the 0-100kph sprint being done away with in 3.9-seconds and the R8's top speed pegged at 316km/h. Almost unbelievably, the R8 V10 will return average fuel consumption figures of 13.7L/100km should you ever be compelled to drive more... sedately.
19-inch wheels come wrapped in 235/35 front and 295/30 rear rubber and have the unenviable job of trying to channel all 530Nm to the ground. The Quattro system has been configured for a rearward bias which means tail out antics can be summoned up at the behest of your right foot.
Nappa leather seats and a Bang & Olufsen sound system are standard fitment for the interior while a Bluetooth interface appears on the options list alongside a front spoiler, rear diffuser and custom side blades.
The Audi R8 V10 will go on sale in Germany during the second quarter of this year for around ?142,400 - roughly equivalent to a whopping $289,600 AUD.
Now for the best bits. Once you've got the fill of tech specs in the full press release below, be sure to check out our gallery and video of the R8 5.2 FSI quattro doing its thang. Enjoy.
Audi continues to vigorously advance its successful strategy in the high-performance sports car segment. With the R8 the brand has established itself there right from the start ? now follows the R8 5.2 FSI quattro. Its ten-cylinder engine churns out 386 kW (525 hp) and 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) of torque, which makes for breathtaking performance. With its distinctive design and superior Audi technologies such as quattro all-wheel drive, the lightweight aluminum body and the innovative, all-LED headlights, the R8 V10 takes pole position in its competitive field.
A new dimension in dynamics
Audi continues to reinforce its leading position in the high-performance sports car segment - in the R8 5.2 FSI quattro it is rolling out the new top-of-the-line model of the R8 model series, which was developed jointly with quattro GmbH. Its ten-cylinder engine develops 386 kW (525 hp), which is capable of delivering breathtaking performance. Audi technologies such as quattro permanent all-wheel drive, the lightweight aluminum body and the innovative all-LED lights propel the new top Audi model right to the top of its competitive field.
A zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) sprint of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 316 km/h (196.35 mph) exemplify the breathtaking dynamics of the R8 5.2 FSI quattro. And this car serves these up as exhilarating power experiences - with a ferocious response to the gas pedal, outstanding revving ability, and a thrilling crescendo of technological music.
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-liter engine delivers a full 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) of torque, at 8,000 rpm it achieves its maximum power output of 386 kW (525 hp).
The specific power output is 100.9 hp per liter of displacement, while its power-to-weight ratio is just 3.1 kilogram (6.83 lb) per hp.
The 5.2-liter engine uses direct injection according to the FSI principle developed by Audi. It achieves a compression ratio of 12.5:1, which contributes substantially to the high power output and the moderate fuel consumption. The R8 5.2 FSI quattro - in the version with the sequential R tronic transmission - gets by on an average of 13.7 liters per 100 km (17.17 US mpg). 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 that this high-performance car from Audi reaches.
Audi delivers the R8 5.2 FSI quattro with manual six-speed transmission, or optionally with R tronic, which enables the driver to change gears in an instant via rocker switches on the steering wheel. The "Launch Control" function is integrated with both types of transmission - a program that catapults the car forward from a standing start. 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 5.2 FSI 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 aluminum wishbones. The suspension is tuned for a highly dynamic ride, yet preserves an appreciable degree of comfort 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 tires, the rear with size 295/30 tires. The brakes likewise deliver out-and-out performance. Optionally available from Audi are carbon-fiber ceramic brake disks, which are extremely lightweight and durable.
Setting the standard in lightweight design: The ASF body
The R8 5.2 FSI quattro with six-speed manual gearshift tips the scales at a modest 1,620 kilograms - mainly thanks to its lightweight body. Built of aluminum in the Audi Space Frame design, it weighs a mere 210 kilograms (463 lb). The ASF design is extremely rigid, which ensures dynamic, precise and secure handling as well as occupant safety.
The interior of this high-performance sports car from Audi provides astonishing roominess. Behind the seats and under the front hood is room for 190 liters (6.71 cubic ft) of luggage. The car is luxuriously equipped - heated seat covers of Fine Nappa leather, the navigation system plus, the Bang & Olufsen sound system and automatic air conditioning are standard equipment. Carefully arranged interior details underscore the leading position of this top-of-the-line model.
The exterior of the R8 5.2 FSI quattro also differs distinctly from that of its V8 counterpart - with especially notable changes 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 are 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.
Just like the eight-cylinder model, the ten-cylinder version is hand-built at quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm. The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro will be rolled out in Germany in the second quarter of 2009. Its base price is EUR 142,400.
At a glance
* Newly developed V10 with 5.2 liters displacement, FSI direct injection and dry| sump lubrication.
* Superior performance 386 kW (525 hp) and 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) of torque
* Superlative performance: 0 ? 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.9 seconds,
top speed 316 km/h (196.35 mph)
* Six-speed manual transmission; optionally sequential R tronic with
rocker switches on steering wheel and ?Launch Control? function
* quattro permanent all-wheel drive with rear-wheel bias
* Dual aluminum wishbone suspensions all around
* High-performance brakes, optionally with ceramic disks
* 19-inch wheels for high transverse acceleration and powerful grip
* Audi magnetic ride adaptive suspension is standard equipment
Body and design
* Lightweight yet extremely rigid aluminum body in ASF design,
weighs only 210 kilograms (463 lb)
* Surprisingly spacious interior and high level of everyday utility
* Exterior and interior design with distinctive new elements
* All-LED lights as standard
* Extensive standard equipment including navigation system plus,
Bang & Olufsen sound system and automatic air conditioning