Another version of Audi's R8 planned
4th July, 2010
Audi R8 Spyder
- V8 engine with 316 kW, quattro all-wheel drive standard
- Lightweight and quiet cloth top with electrohydraulic drive
- Aluminium body with large components of carbon fibre composite
Audi is adding another model to its R8 high-performance sports car line-up: Hot on the 'heels' of
the R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro comes another model with a V8 engine. The 4.2 litre FSI produces 316 kW
(430 hp). The engine is matched to the R tronic sequential manual gearbox;
quattro permanent all-wheel drive is standard.
The Audi R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro has a lightweight cloth top with a fully automatic drive. Its
body is an aluminium Audi Space Frame with large-area components of carbon fibre composite material.
A fit and finish typical of Audi, excellent everyday practicality and optional high-end technologies
– from LED headlights to seatbelt microphone – complete the profile of the model athlete.
Superior power: the engine
The 4.2 FSI is a high-performance engine. It delivers an experience that enthralls all of the
senses – with spontaneous, voracious throttle response, with its easy revving, with hefty torque,
prodigious power and sonorous, voluminous music.
The V8 accelerates the R8 Spyder from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.8 seconds and on up to a
top speed of 299 km/h (185.79 mph). Both values apply for the manual transmission and for the R
tronic. At Audi, dynamics also means efficiency. The R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro with the R tronic
consumes, on average, 13.9 litres of fuel per 100 km; fuel consumption with the manual transmission
is 14.9 litres per 100 km. A recuperation system that recovers energy during braking is standard.
The forced oil pump of the dry sump lubrication system features various suction and discharge stages
for load-dependent operation.
The 4.2 FSI, which is also used in this form in the R8 Coupé, produces 316 kW (430 hp) from a
displacement of 4,163 cc – 73.5 kW (103.2 hp) per litre. At the nominal engine speed of 7,900 rpm,
the long-stroke (bore x stroke 84.5 x 92.8 millimetres [3.33 x 3.65 in]) engine’s eight pistons
travel 24.1 metres (79 ft) each second. The electronic rev limiter kicks in at 8,250 rpm. The V8
delivers 430 Nm (317.15 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm, with at
least 90 per cent of peak torque available between 3,500 and 7,500 rpm.
The compact V8, which is hand-assembled at the engine factory in Györ, Hungary, has the classic
cylinder angle of 90 degrees and weighs just 216 kilogrammes (476 lb). Its crankcase is made of an
aluminium-silicon alloy using the low-pressure die casting method, which ensures particular
homogeneity. The high silicon content makes the cylinder barrels extremely resistant to wear.
A bedplate structure gives the crankcase its high rigidity and optimal vibration behavior. The
cast iron bearing bridges reduce its thermal expansion and thus keep the play at the main bearings
of the crankshaft within tight limits. The forged crankshaft, the forged steel connecting rods and
the forged aluminium pistons are extremely lightweight, yet strong. The dry sump lubrication system
with its separate oil tank enables the engine to be installed very low while also ensuring the
supply of oil to the engine even under extreme lateral acceleration.
The high-revving V8 FSI draws its fuel from an FSI petrol direct injection system – typically
Audi. The common rail unit injects the fuel at up to 120 bars of pressure. The fuel mixture is
swirled intensely in the combustion chambers and thus cools the walls. This allows a high
compression of 12.5:1, for increased performance and efficiency. The 32 valves are actuated via
roller cam followers by four camshafts, each of which can be moved through 42 degrees of crankshaft
rotation. They and the ancillaries are driven by zero-maintenance chains running on the back side
of the engine.
The 4.2 FSI 'breathes' through straight aluminium velocity stacks 23 centimeters (9.06 in) in
length integrated into the dual intake system. The intake plenum is made of lightweight plastic.
Vacuum-actuated flaps controlled by the engine management system are integrated into the intake
ports. They cause the air to move with a roller-like rotation (to “tumble”), which increases the
efficiency of the combustion process.
The dual-branch exhaust system features dual tailpipes. The exhaust system components and the
pipes of the manifold have been designed for low backpressure and are very light. The exhaust flaps
in both tailpipes open at higher load and engine speed for an even fuller sound.
Dynamic: the drivetrain
The Audi R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro comes standard with a manual six-speed transmission. It works
together with a compact dual-disc clutch and can be shifted extremely precisely and easily with
short throws. The shift lever is made of polished aluminium, the open gate of stainless steel.
The R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro is optionally available with the R tronic, a highly efficient
sequential six-speed transmission. Shift commands are transmitted electrically; a hydraulic system
changes the gears and manages the clutch. The R tronic offers both an automatic and a manual mode,
both of which allow the driver to choose between two shift programmes.
In manual mode, the driver changes gears using the joystick on the centre tunnel or with the
paddles on the steering wheel. At high load and engine speed, gear changes take less than a tenth
of a second. The Launch Control programme ensures optimal starts. It controls the engine speed and
the engagement of the clutch to accelerate the open-top two-seater with the ideal wheel slip.
The quattro permanent all-wheel drive delivers the engine’s power to all four wheels. Together
with the locking differential on the rear axle, it provides significantly greater traction,
stability, cornering speed and precision. The four powered wheels seem to claw into the asphalt at
the exit of the corner, and the driver can get back on the throttle sooner than in a car with
Due to the mid-engine lay out, the quattro all-wheel drive system in the R8 Spyder is a special
design with a strong rear bias. The transmission, which is mounted behind the longitudinally
installed V8, has an auxiliary drive for a cardan shaft running past the engine to the front.
A viscous coupling distributes the torque at the front axle. During normal driving, it sends
roughly 15 per cent of the torque to the front wheels and 85 per cent to the rear wheels. If the
rear wheels begin to slip, an additional 15 per cent is quickly sent to the front. A locking
differential at the rear axle further improves dynamics. It provides up to 25 per cent lock-up
when accelerating and up to 45 per cent when coasting. If a wheel on one of the axles should slip,
it is braked by the EDS electronic locking differential.
Highly emotional: the design
The Audi R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro is 4.43 metres (14.53 ft) long, 1.90 metres (6.23 ft) wide
and 1.24 metres (4.07 ft) tall – it has a wide, hunkered-down stance on the road as if ready to
pounce. Its dynamic proportions, the sculpted design and the passenger cell situated far to the
front with the flat windshield visually underscore the mid-engine concept. The large vertical air
intakes are athletically sculpted out of the flanks, and the shadow contour of the rear end forms
a powerful wave above the wheels.
An elliptical crease encircles the long back and provides visual structure. When viewed from
above, it combines the passenger compartment and the engine into a single unit. Two arched cowls
in glistening silver give the back a powerful profile. They taper from the bulkhead to the spoiler
lip, and each includes six integrated air vents. Another wide discharge vent is located between
Numerous other touches – from the single-frame grille painted in high-gloss black to the
exposed fuel cap of solid aluminium – document the Audi designers’ great attention to detail.
The headlights are technical works of art – this applies to the standard xenon plus units and
even more so for the optional LED headlights, which use light-emitting diodes for all lighting
functions. Their reflectors resemble open mussel shells, and the daytime running lights appear to
be a homogeneous strip extending along the lower edge of the headlight. One of Audi’s greatest
innovations, the LED light, has a colour temperature very similar to that of daylight, making it
easier on the eyes when driving at night. It also impresses with a long service life and extremely
low energy consumption.
The rear of the R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro features LED tail lights as standard equipment. The
exhaust system terminates in dual tailpipes on both the left and the right. The rear spoiler,
which extends automatically at 100 km/h (62.14 mph), and the fully lined underbody generate a
downforce that presses the high-performance sports car firmly to the road. With a drag coefficient
of 0.37 and the small front surface area of 1.99 m2 (21.42 sq ft), however, the two-seater still
glides easily through the wind. Audi applied knowledge gleaned in motor sport to the flow of air
around and through the body.
Audi offers the R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro with a choice of three colours for the top: black, red
and brown. The body is available in the solid finishes Ibis White and Brilliant Red; the metallic
finishes Suzuka Grey, Teak Brown, Ice Silver, Jet Blue and Aurum Beige; and the pearl effect
finishes Daytona Grey, Sepang Blue, Lava Grey and Phantom Black. The windshield frame is coated
with anodised aluminium.
Just 215 kilogrammes (474 lb): the body
Equipped with a manual transmission, the Audi R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro weighs only 1,735
kilogrammes (3,825 lb) (including driver), and just five kilogrammes (11 lb) more with the R
tronic. The decisive factor for this low weight is the aluminium body, which features an Audi Space
Frame (ASF) design.
The body in white consists of three wrought components: Extruded aluminium sections comprise 75
per cent; vacuum-cast nodes 8 per cent; and the aluminium panels that are integrated into this
skeleton with friction connections make up the remaining 17 per cent. The body is largely assembled
by hand with the utmost precision.
The open superstructure features special reinforcements in the area of the sills, the centre
tunnel, the rear bulkhead, the floor and both the A and B pillars, yet still only weighs 216
kilogrammes (476 lb). The high stiffness of the ASF body, which includes a co-supporting engine
frame of ultra-lightweight magnesium, provides the foundation for the dynamic handling, superior
crash safety and high vibrational comfort of the Audi R8 Spyder. The body tops its segment in terms
of lightweight quality – the relationship between weight, size and torsional stiffness.
The side panels of the open-top two-seater are made of ultra-lightweight carbon fibre composite
material (CFRP), as is the large cover over the roof compartment. They are produced using a new
method called resin transfer moulding (RTM). In addition to being faster and more energy-efficient
than conventional production in an autoclave, RTM also yields superior surface quality. The use of
carbon fibre composite enables weight savings of up to 60 per cent over conventional steel
components and also permits greater design freedom.
Lightweight and convenient: the cloth roof
The R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro has a cloth roof – a classic feature typical of Audi and without
compromise for a high-performance sports car. The soft top’s approximate weight is 42 kilogrammes
(93 lb); it thus keeps the vehicle’s weight and centre of gravity low. The top takes up little
space when open, and is a harmonious design element when closed. It tapers off to two long, slim
fins that extend to the trailing edge of the car and have an elongated contour similar to the
fixed roof of the R8 Coupé.
The outer skin of the top is a leakproof textile fabric. A headliner covers the frame, which is
made primarily of die-cast magnesium and aluminium. The soft top is fully suitable for high-speed
driving. When driving at moderate speeds with the top up, interior noise levels in the R8 Spyder
are barely higher than in the Coupé. The cloth top has an electrohydraulic drive that uses a system
of actuators, hinges and hooks to open and close the top within 19 seconds, even while driving at
speeds up to 50 km/h (31.07 mph). When opened, the 1.7 square metres (18.30 sq ft) of fabric folds
in a Z-shape into its storage compartment over the engine. The CFRP compartment cover moves on two
seven-joint hinges. The precise mechanical interaction of the two components is interedting to
The heated glass window, which is separate from the cloth top, is lowered into the bulkhead
between the passenger compartment and the engine compartment. It can be raised and lowered at the
press of a switch, with the soft top up or down. An additional wind deflector comes standard. It
latches into the bulkhead behind the seats in two steps and keeps the cabin nearly draft-free at
speeds of up to roughly 200 km/h (124.27 mph).
The top with its rear-window module, the storage compartment, the cover and the rollover
protection system forms a premounted assembly. It is inserted into the ASF body at the
manufacturing plant at Audi’s Neckarsulm site, where the R8 Spyder is built, lending the body
Located in the bulkhead is a rollover protection system comprising two strong, spring-loaded
sections that shoot up within 0.2 seconds when needed. In the event of a side impact, head/thorax
side airbags in the backrests protect the passengers. Full-size airbags stand at the ready in the
event of a head-on collision. In a rear-end collision, the integral Audi head restraint system
reduces the risk of whiplash injuries.
Technical expertise: the chassis
Mesmerising emotions embedded in perfect technical expertise – the Audi R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI
quattro is an integrated system of speed. It steers spontaneously, almost reflexively, into
corners and takes them with stoic composure. The limit is very high and easily controlled. The
hydraulic rack-and-pinion power steering connects the driver intimately with the road. With a
steering ratio of 16:1, it is sporty and direct, but never nervous in its response.
The R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro has a wheelbase of 2.65 metres (8.69 ft). Its axle load
distribution is 43:57 per cent; the track measures 1.64 metres (5.38 ft) up front and 1.60 metres
(5.25 ft) at the rear. Forged aluminium double wishbones – a principle borrowed from race car
construction – locate the wheels. Their rubber-metal bearings divert the lateral forces precisely
into the body while at the same time ensuring high longitudinal elasticity. The set-up provides for
surprising comfort in everyday driving. A dedicated sports suspension is available as an option.
Another option for the R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI is Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping. The system uses magnetic
fields in the hydraulic shock absorbers to adjust their response to road conditions within milliseconds and
adapt to the driver’s style. There is a choice of two basic characteristics. During fast cornering and when
braking, the control unit reduces body pitch and roll through the targeted increase of damping force at the
The Audi R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro rolls on 18-inch wheels shod with 235/40 tyres up front and 285/35
tyres in the rear. A tyre pressure indicator is standard. Audi offers optional 19-inch wheels in a variety
of designs – monochrome or two colours, polished or in titanium look.
Behind the wheels are powerful disc brakes measuring 365 millimetres (14.37 in) in diameter up front and
356 millimetres (14.02 in) in the back. To quickly dissipate the heat, they are internally ventilated,
perforated and composed of two pieces – stainless steel pins connect the steel friction rings to the
Black, eight-piston callipers grab the front discs, with four-piston callipers used in the rear. The
19-inch wheels are optionally available with perforated carbon fibre-ceramic discs that are extremely
lightweight, robust, long-lived and corrosion-free.
The open high-performance sports car has a specially configured stability system on board. With the touch
of a button, the driver can activate a sport mode that permits exciting but safe oversteer when power is
applied while exiting a corner. The ESP together with the anti-slip control can also be deactivated
completely for dynamic driving.
Luxury and dynamics: The interior and equipment
Three strengths characterise the interior of the Audi R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro: the uncompromising
quality with respect to the use and finish of the materials; the generous amount of room; and the high
degree of practicality.
Drivers and passengers of any size find an ideal seating position in the sport seats with their pronounced
side bolsters. The ring of the leather multifunction sport steering wheel is flattened. Visibility is good,
with narrow A-pillars ensuring a large diagonal view to the front. Another advantage in everyday driving is
the luggage compartment – there is space under the front hatch for 100 litres (3.53 cu ft). A storage box
with three bins is located behind the seats.
A large arch, the “monoposto”, encircles the interior, which is distinctly oriented toward the driver. The
controls are clearly and logically structured; the standard automatic air conditioning system is specially
matched to the needs of open-top driving. The driver information system integrates a lap timer for recording
circuit times. Most of the interior is a sportily cool black; many controls shine in aluminium look.
Among the highlights of the standard equipment are seats covered with Fine Nappa leather, the aluminium
door sills, the concert radio system with seven speakers, the xenon plus headlights, the LED tail lights, the
automatic air conditioning system, the alarm system, the automatic top, the roll-over protection system and
the wind deflector. Metallic paint and heated seats are also standard.
Audi also offers an array of fine options – power seats, an interior lighting package, hill hold assist,
cruise control, deluxe automatic air conditioning, a storage package and the high-beam assistant. All leather
for the seats is colored with pigments that reflect the infrared component of sunlight, greatly reducing the
heating of the interior.
Multimedia options include an excellent sound system from Bang & Olufsen with 450 watts of power, the Audi
music interface for easily connecting an external player and a Bluetooth cell phone preparation. The
navigation system plus is characterised by its MMI operating logic and a high-resolution 6.5-inch display. It
can be combined with a reversing camera.
An enticing innovation from Audi is the seatbelt microphone for the hands-free unit and the speech
dialogue system, which makes it possible to talk on the phone even with the top down on the highway. Both
seatbelts house three small, flat microphones. At least one of them is ideally positioned relative to the
speaker when the belt is on. There is a fourth microphone in the windshield frame.
Extreme individualists can choose from a wealth of exclusive options, the share of which are provided by
quattro GmbH. These include leather seat coverings in a wide variety of colours and grades, aluminium-look
pedals, the carbon package for the exterior, inlays in carbon and piano finish black, Alcantara for the
headliner and the luggage compartment lining and the custom luggage set.
The Audi R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro will be rolling into German showrooms in the third quarter of 2010.
Specifications and release date for other markets will be announced at a later time.