“Born on the racetrack, built for the road” best describes the Audi Sport-developed R8 Coupe V10 performance quattro—no Audi is closer to motor racing than this model. Now, the new, 2021 R8 comes to Audi Philippines’ showrooms as the supercar headlines the Audi Sport range in the country.
The new R8 joins the local Audi Sport lineup presently composed of the phenomenal five-cylinder-powered RS 3 Sedan, the Nurburgring lap record-holder RS Q8 SUV, and the RS 6 Avant that fuses supercar performance with station wagon utility. All of these Audi Sport offerings, unlike those belonging in the current lineup of other luxury car brands in the country, are 2021-year models—not carryovers from 2020.
While providing a comfortable and luxurious ride, the latest R8 has been updated with even more power and improved dynamics that are in line with its affinity to motor racing.
Proving the effectivity of these changes are the records posted by the R8 LMS—the racecar version of the road-going R8—in various motorsports series. Recently, the R8 LMS of Team WRT scored a podium in the Dubai 24 Hours, the first full endurance race of the 2021 season. The latest success follows a string of victories for customer racing teams using the R8 LMS. Last season, included among these are podiums and wins at the Spa 24 Hours, DTM Trophy, GT World Challenge in Zandvoort, Campionato Italiano GT Sprint, Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy and other endurance race series held in Belgium, New Zealand, China, Japan and Thailand.
“Motorsports are part of our DNA. The R8 has around 50 percent shared parts with the R8 LMS GT3,” said Oliver Hoffmann, technical managing director of Audi Sport GmbH.
At the heart of the new R8 is a naturally aspirated, 5.2 FSI V10 engine that produces 620 hp and 580 Nm, allowing the supercar to accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h in 3.1 seconds before hitting a maximum speed of 331 km/h. The power increase comes primarily from an optimized valve train with components made of titanium, resulting in instantaneous response as the engine freely revs all the way to 8,700 rpm. A cylinder-on-demand system, which deactivates ignition in some cylinders under certain conditions, help ensure efficiency despite the high power output.
Matched to the 5.2 FSI V10 engine is the seven-speed s-tronic dual-clutch transmission, which sends power to the quattro all-wheel drive system. In the new R8, the quattro can send up to 100 percent of the drive torque to the front or the rear axle. High-performance tires wrap over 20-inch alloy wheels, which are available in five-V-spoke matte bronze, titan gray, or glossy black finish.
The suspension of the new R8 also derives from motor sports technologies. Fitted to the supercar is the Audi magnetic ride, a regulated damping system that continuously adapts the shock absorbers for each wheel according to the road profile and the driver’s style. Synthetic oil in the pistons of the shock absorbers contain very small magnetic particles that act when electrical current is applied, adjusting the damping rate of the suspension.
Visually, the new R8 model is sharper and tauter. Its Singleframe grille is wider and framed by partially dimmed headlights. Winglets at the side divide the large air inlets. Flat slits above the Singleframe recall the Audi Sport quattro. Also modified are the front splitter, the air inlet grille spanning the rear end, and the diffuser framing the new oval tailpipes. The Audi Sport Glossy Carbon Styling Package further updates the supercar’s look.
In the cabin, the new R8 is lined with premium items like Fine Nappa leather trim with contrast stitching for the sport seats; Bang&Olufsen audio with speakers integrated into the seats; Alcantara molded headliner; leather-wrapped, flat-bottom sport steering wheel with aluminum shift paddles; matte carbon twill inserts; and the Audi smartphone interface, among others.