DRIVING HAS already had behind-the-scenes access to the new Audi R8 sports car, spending two days at a racetrack where the mid-engined machine was undergoing final high-speed testing. However, the car was still considered top secret and wore camouflage to disguise its final design. Now we can show off the second-generation R8 in all its glory.
Audi had planned to reveal the new model next week, at a glitzy, private event at the Geneva motor show. However, the Internet laid waste to the German firm’s meticulous plans, after images of the car were leaked online and forced the company to go public ahead of schedule.
So here it is. The car has a lot to live up to; the R8 was widely regarded as one of the best sports cars on the road, and it proved a commercial success for Audi, after nearly 25,000 were sold – an impressive feat for a hand-made car.
When it goes on sale in the summer, there will be two version, both powered by a 5.2-litre V10 engine. The standard version will have 533bhp, the “Plus” model will have 602bhp. Audi will also offer an e-tron model, which is an electric car that is claimed to offer a driving range of almost 280miles.
The car’s price has been confirmed in Germany as €165,000 (£120,760) for the regular V10 and €187,400 (£137,142) for the V10 Plus. No price has been given for the e-tron model, and Audi UK says prices and specifications for the R8 range will be revealed closer to the car going on sale.
Audi says that there will not be a V8 version. However, it is possible that this will be introduced later to make the R8 more attractive to owners of a mass-market sports cars – such as the Porsche 911 or Jaguar F-type – who want to trade up into a more exclusive model.