While the rest of the world waits for Audi to pull the sheet off the 2016 Audi R8 (and hopefully reveal it's better-looking than this) those lucky bastards at Top Gear Magazine got to ride shotgun while racing driver Frank Stippler whipped it around Ascari. They also dropped some interesting new tidbits about the car.
Top Gear says the upcoming R8 will come with two flavors of 5.2-liter V10 engine: one with 540 horsepower and a V10 Plus version with 610 horsepower. Both will do zero to 60 mph in under 3.5 seconds and have top speeds exceeding 200 mph. Of course, power goes to all four wheels, and the new car is on the Lamborghini Huracan platform.
There's no mention of a V8 option like the outgoing car has. (ETA: But their story does note the car's seven year lifespan will see smaller engines later on.) Either way it's a big boost over what you get now; the current V8 has 430 horsepower, and the V10 models put out 525 or 550 horsepower.
They also say the new R8 is 40 percent stiffer, 30 millimeters lower, and weighs just under 3,300 pounds. There's also new performance settings and an all-new electric steering rack to replace the old hydraulic system. Seven-speed dual clutch only, no manual this time, sadly.
So how does it drive?
We were only allowed to ride shotgun while Frank Stippler nailed it around Ascari, but suffice to say, it's effing quick. We sampled the higher powered 610bhp V10 Plus, and the acceleration was absolutely savage. This is one of the great naturally aspirated engines, all snarly, baritone aggression capped off by a howling top end. Lovely stuff. It also had the optional sports exhaust, which is an essential tick in the box for any prospective owner.
Check out Top Gear for lots more info. The new R8 will drop at Geneva next month.