Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro: Breathtaking V10 Performance
9th December, 2008
- The new 5.2-litre, ten-cylinder engine outs 386 kW
- Sprint to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, top speed 316 km/h
- High-performance sports car with striking design
Audi is launching the next European variant of its top-of-the-line model. 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
386 kW and 530 Nm of torque, which makes for breathtaking performance. With superior Audi technologies such as quattro all-wheel
drive, the lightweight aluminium body, the innovative all-LED headlights, and its striking design, the R8 V10 wants pole position
against its 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 petrol 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 race tracks – in the new R8 racing car Audi is developing for customer teams in conformance with the GT3
The V10 engine in the production sports car will be almost identical in construction to the one in the racing version. Its
displacement is 5,204 cc. At 6,500 rpm it delivers 530 Nm of torque, at 8,000 rpm its power tops out at 386 kW.
The specific power output is 100.9 hp per litre of displacement – and each hp has to propel only 3.09 kilogrammes of weight,
because the Audi R8 V10 in the version with the six-speed manual gearshift weighs only 1,620 kilogrammes. The engine accounts for
258 of these kilogrammes – that’s only 31 kilos more than the V8.
The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro rockets from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds. In the version with the sequentially shifting R
tronic it reaches 200 km/h in another 8.1 seconds. Even then its propulsive power hardly lessens: it’s sufficient to reach a top
speed of 316 km/h. The immense force, the thrust of the acceleration, plus the sound of the engine – all these impressions convert
into a breathtaking sports car experience. The V10 plays a concert with growling bass tones and powerful high notes, which grows
into a grandiose fortissimo as the engine revs up. This sonorous acceleration doesn’t reach its limit until 8,700 rpm.
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.
For maximum dynamics: low centre of gravity engine
The technical refinements of the long-stroke ten-cylinder engine include dry sump lubrication, which allows the engine to be
mounted low within the chassis. The wide cylinder angle of 90 degrees also makes for a low centre of gravity. The crankcase is a
high-strength aluminium-alloy casting produced in a complex process. The connecting rods are made of forged steel, the pistons of
aluminium. The four camshafts are chain-driven and each is adjustable through 42 degrees. This provides great latitude in
controlling the valve timing. In combination with the straight, flow-optimised ducts of the intake manifold, this improves the
charge throughout the entire speed range. 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 programme 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 over the competition is quattro all-wheel
drive – it’s the superior technology especially for a high-performance sports car. Four powered wheels get more grip than two. They
enable the driver to step on the accelerator sooner when coming out of a curve. It’s not only the traction that benefits, but also
the transverse dynamics and the stability.
44 to 56 percent – the ideal axle load distribution
The Audi R8 chassis offers both dynamic performance and astonishing levels of comfort on long distances. This high-performance
sports car from Audi eagerly responds to any steering action with instant ease, achieves lateral acceleration of up to 1.2 g,
and handles any situation with superb driving safety. Its mid-engine design provides an ideal axle load distribution of 44 to 56 per
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 set-up is designed for maximum performance. Nineteen
inch wheels equipped with tyre pressure monitoring display are standard equipment. Their 10-spoke Y design is exclusive to the R8
V10. Tyre sizes are 235/35 front and 295/30 rear.
The car features a high-end damper technology as standard: Audi magnetic ride adapts the characteristics of the suspension in
milliseconds to the nature of the road surface and to the driving style. Suspended in the oil of the shock absorbers are tiny magnetic
particles which, when a voltage is applied, rearrange themselves so as to slow down the flow of oil through the valves. 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 discs, which are ventilated and perforated to ensure unimpeded heat transfer. The brake discs on the front axle have a diameter
of 380 millimetres (15 in); the rear discs span 356 millimetres (14 in).
The R8 5.2 FSI quattro is optionally available with a ceramic brake system whose discs are made of a composite material containing
high-strength carbon fibres and abrasion-resistant silicon carbide. These are especially light: their combined weight is nine
kilogrammes (19.84 lb) less than the weight of equivalent steel discs. The ceramic brakes can easily cope with the harsher requirements
of racing, won’t corrode, and have a typical service life of 300,000 kilometres (186,400 miles). Their calipers are painted charcoal
grey and emblazoned with the inscription “Audi ceramic”.
Typically Audi: Sharp lines and an elegantly curved roof
The wide, full shape of the R8 5.2 FSI quattro seems to hug the road. The 'brawny' proportions and prominent wheel wells underscore
its potential. The high-precision styling of the lines and the elegant curve of the roof are typical Audi features. A continuous contour
optically connects the front, the wheel wells, the sides and the rear. Located well forward, the cab visually expresses the mid-engine
design. The vertical air scoops (side blades) on the sides are also indicative of the engine location. The massive aluminium fuel cap
is mounted flush within the right side blade.
The design of the Audi R8 has already impressed experts, as evidenced by the double victory in the “World Car of the Year Awards
2008”. In the ten-cylinder model, the styling has been sharpened up even more.
The front air inlets, which feed air to the coolers, and the lip of the front apron are painted in high-gloss black. The number of
cross-braces has been reduced from four to two. The vanes of the single-frame grille have a striking chrome finish.
A very distinctive highlight of the R8 V10 are the all-LED headlights as standard equipment. Audi is the world’s first car maker to
use LEDs for the high beam, low beam, daytime running lights, and turn signals. Each headlight integrates 54 of these high-tech light
sources. With a colour temperature of 6,000 Kelvin the LED light closely resembles daylight, which is less tiring to the eyes in night
driving. Further advantages of the LEDs include brilliant illumination, low energy consumption, and a virtually unlimited service life.
Special details also distinguish the body of the R8 V10. Its side blades are more accentuated than in the eight-cylinder 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.
When in motion, this Audi high-performance sports car provides a downforce that keeps it in firm contact with the road – thanks to a
rear spoiler which deploys automatically at 100 km/h and the fully enclosed underbody, which terminates in a sharply upward-curved
diffuser. The dominant colour at the rear end is high-gloss black, including the settings of the LED tail lights. The air outlets at the
rear end also have only two cross-braces, and the exhaust system terminates in two large oval tailpipes.
Audi sets the example – in body weight and rigidity
The body of a sports car must be especially light weight and rigid. Audi meets these requirements with the technology of the Audi
Space Frame (ASF) and its high-tech aluminium construction. The body-in-white of the R8 V10, which includes an engine frame made of
ultra-light magnesium, weighs only 210 kilogrammes (463 lb), and the quality of its light weight design – the relation of weight to
torsional rigidity – is the best in the sports car segment. The body is composed of profile extrusions, sheet aluminium and very complex
gusset castings, all held together by 99 metres (325 ft) of welding seams, 782 rivets, and 308 special screws.
The interior of the R8 V10 provides a unique racing ambience at the luxury level. Its dominant element is the so-called monoposto – a
wide arc that contains the steering wheel and the cockpit. As always in an Audi, the workmanship is of the highest quality. The surfaces
of the dashboard and doors are lined with fine materials and adorned with precisely stitched decorative seams. Many customising solutions
are available: Audi supplies leather in a wide range of colours, packages with a carbon and piano-lacquer finish, or a made-to-measure
luggage set. Audi's subsidiary, quattro GmbH, which has developed and is producing the R8 V10, also provides solutions for unconventional
The great everyday utility of the Audi R8 V10 is based in part on its spacious interior made possible by the long wheelbase of 2.65
metres (8.69 ft). Drivers and passengers of any size will always find a perfect sitting position. Visibility too is surprisingly good.
Slender hinge pillars optimise the obliquely forward field of view. Another advantage for convenient everyday use is the luggage space:
100 litres (3.53 cu ft) fit under the bonnet, another 90 litres (3.18 cu ft) can be stowed behind the seats. There is also room for two
The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro combines its colossal performance with a generous complement of standard equipment. Highlights include
heatable seat covers made of Fine Nappa leather, a driver information system, the navigation system plus and the Bang & Olufsen sound
system along with deluxe automatic air conditioning and an alarm system. The instruments and the gearshift knob are decorated with red
rings; the footrests and the rocker switches of the R tronic have an aluminium finish.
The list of options includes other highly attractive features – such as the Audi parking system advanced with its integrated rearview
camera or numerous Audi exclusive customisation options. Various leather packages provide a luxurious touch, while the bucket seats from
the Audi exclusive programme bring a highly concentrated racing atmosphere into the R8 V10.
Deliveries of the Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro will commence in Europe from the second quarter of 2009.
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