Such a car is Audi's stunning R8 5.2 FSI quattro. With the R8, the brand has established itself at the forefront of high-end sports cars from the very start, and now comes the R8 V10. Its 5.2-litre, ten-cylinder engine churns out 386kW and 530Nm of torque, which makes for breath taking performance. With Audi technologies such as quattro all-wheel drive, the lightweight aluminium body, all-LED headlights, and its striking design, the R8 V10 takes pole position against the competition.
The R8 V10 is the result of cumulative know how from Audi's string of Le Mans victories. Its naturally aspirated engine combines racing technology such as dry sump lubrication with FSI gasoline direct injection. The ten cylinder design is the perfect synthesis for impressive top performance, mighty pulling power, and low weight.
Starting in 2009, this engine will also prove its potential on the world's racetracks, in the new R8 racing car Audi is developing for customer teams in conformance with the GT3 rules.
The V10 engine in the production sports car will be almost identical in construction to the one in the racing version. Its displacement is 5,204cc, at 6,500 rpm it delivers 530Nm of torque, at 8,000 rpm its power tops out at 386kW.
The specific power output is 100.9 hp per litre of displacement, and each hp has to propel only 3.09kgs of weight, because the Audi R8 V10 in the version with the six-speed manual gearshift weighs only 1,620 kgs. The engine accounts for 258 of these kilograms, that's only 31 kilos more than the V8.
The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro charges from zero to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. In the version with the sequentially shifting R tronic it reaches 200 km/h sufficient to reach a top speed of 316 km/h. The immense force, the spontaneity and the thrust of the acceleration, plus the sound of the engine, all these impressions translate into a breathtaking sports car experience.
The 5.2-litre powerplant uses direct injection according to the FSI principle developed by Audi. A common rail system injects the fuel into the combustion chambers with up to 120 bar of pressure. Direct injection reduces the susceptibility to knocking and provides a certain amount of cooling through the evaporation of the fuel, which in turn supports a high compression ratio of 12.5:1. This in turn contributes to superior performance and improves fuel economy. The R8 V10 with R tronic gets by on an average of 13.7 litres per 100 km.
The R8 5.2 FSI quattro has a six-speed transmission. A precise and smooth shifting manual transmission comes as standard equipment. The sequential R tronic is available as an option. The high tech gearshift conveys an authentic racing feel, with the rocker switches at the steering wheel and the short shifting times of usually less than one-tenth of a second. When the driver actuates the Launch Control program by pressing a button, the R8 V10 takes off in a vehement quick-start with electronically controlled tyre slip - both with the R tronic and with the manual transmission.
A contributing factor to the wide lead in traction and driving safety of the Audi R8 V10 is quattro all-wheel drive. Four powered wheels get more grip than two. They enable the driver to step on the gas sooner when coming out of a curve. It's not only the traction that benefits, but also the transverse dynamics and the stability.
Its mid-engine design provides an ideal axle load distribution of 44 to 56 percent. The wheel suspensions on dual aluminium wishbones front and rear - a classic racing technology - are optimised for neutral self steering characteristics. Even more than in the eight-cylinder R8, this setup is designed for maximum performance. 19-inch wheels equipped with tyre pressure monitoring display are standard equipment.
In the R8 V10, deceleration is provided by an extremely muscular braking system - eight brake pistons at the front and four at the rear grasp the brake disks, which are ventilated and perforated to ensure unimpeded heat transfer. The brake disks on the front axle have a diameter of 380 mm; the rear discs span 356 mm. The R8 5.2 FSI quattro is optionally available with a ceramic brake system.
Special details distinguish the body of the R8 V10. Its side blades are more accentuated than in the V8 version. The side sills are more striking and wider; the exhaust grilles at the rear windows have a matt aluminium look. Through the large rear window, the ten-cylinder engine is clearly visible in its consummate technical beauty.