Yep, that picture that leaked out yesterday was definitely the 2016 Audi R8. Today we have the rest of it, including more pictures and full slew of specs. Meet the lighter, faster, more efficient next generation of Audi's supercar.
Although it may not look that much different from the outgoing R8, it is a completely different car on a different platform with new sheetmetal, and is now based on the all-new Lamborghini Huracan. I too was underwhelmed by the photo that came out yesterday, but now it's slowly growing on me.
When you consider how revolutionary the R8 was for Audi in every department, including looks, it's hard for them to want to change much, plus Audi's new cars have hardly featured radical design updates in recent years.
The famous sideblade is now shorter, more conservative, and split up into two segments. The new rear end eschews the old car's horizontal vents for a honeycomb one, and it gets the new trapezoid grille up front, but otherwise it's unmistakably an R8.
Let's talk engines. The new R8 comes in two forms at launch: V10 (the blue one) and V10 Plus (the red one), both with 5.2-the liter 10-cylinder engine from the Huracan. They put out 540 and 610 horsepower, respectively. The V10 Plus does zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 205 mph.
It's also up to 110 pounds lighter than its predecessor, tipping the scales at a svelte 3,205 pounds in V10 Plus form. Weight savings come from a new Audi Space Frame comprised of aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastics. The rear wall, central tunnel, sideblades and B-pillar are all made of CFRP. The body shell alone is 15 percent lighter than before, and the car overall has 40 percent better torsional rigidity.
Inside, it looks like a really nice Lamborghini. That's not to say Lamborghinis aren't nice, but the Audi looks less like a fighter jet and more of what you'd expect from a premium luxury supercar. You'll notice that the R8 gets the new Virtual Cockpit, which eschews a central screen on the dash in favor of one in front of the driver. The display is entirely digital.
Another thing you'll notice is the lack of a gated manual gearbox. That's gone for now, and probably forever. Instead there's a shift-by-wire seven-speed S tronic paddle-shift gearbox mounted behind the engine. Audi promises lightning-fast shifts and more efficiency, but we'll miss those gates, too.
As per usual, the R8 has quattro all-wheel drive. Normally it's 100 percent rear-wheel drive but up to 100 percent of torque can also be sent to the front wheels. A mechanical locking differential on the rear axle promises no traction slip, and an electrohydraulic multi-plate clutch replaces the old car's Visco clutch on the front axle.
Audi also announced that this R8 will form the basis of two new models, an e-tron electric version and a race-ready R8 LMS race car. Expect to see a lot more of this car on the road and the track in the next few years.
Sales of the 2016 R8 start in Europe this summer starting at 165,000 euros for the V10 and 187,400 euros for the V10 Plus. The U.S. pricing and release date have not been announced.
It's definitely evolution over revolution. I wish a few more risks had been taken with the design, but otherwise it sounds extremely impressive, and it should be a solid performer.