Detailed: Next Audi R8

Detailed: Next Audi R8

The new Audi R8 promises to be faster, lighter and of course, more efficient. It makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week.

There are two engine choices available, both V10 mills in different states of tune. The first spits out 397kW and 540Nm while the more potent offering delivers 448kW and 560Nm. Audi is most excited about the latter, claiming a standstill to 100km/h time of 3.2 seconds. In both models, power is shifted via a seven-speed S-tronic transmission. And through the Quattro all-wheel drive system, 100 percent of torque can be shoved to the rear axle if needed.

Compared to the outgoing model, the new R8 weighs 50 kilograms less. This is thanks to a more liberal use of carbon fibre reinforced plastics and aluminium. On the aesthetics front, it’s clearly more of an evolution – as is usually the case with products from Audi. The new R8 is sharper and more streamlined. It wouldn’t be unfounded to say it looks like a more aggressive TT. Is that a good thing? You’ll have to be the judge of that.

Another addition the 5.2-litre V10 engine is cylinder on-demand technology. This shuts off one of the two cylinder banks when you’re driving more conservatively, resulting in better economy. A start-stop system features too. The chassis uses aluminium double wishbones at all four corners. And Audi’s magnetic ride shock absorbers are available as an option.

The interior has been thoroughly revised, with a design and theme in-line with the rest of the contemporary Audi range. It also has the futuristic, fully-digital instrument cluster that debuted on the new TT. Audi calls it the virtual cockpit. The Multi Media Interface uses a “super-fast” chip courtesy of graphics specialists NVIDIA.

Finally, there will also be a hybrid version, the R8 e-tron. A combined power output of 339kW and 920Nm can be expected. Audi claims an acceleration time of 3.9 seconds, as well as a maximum range of 450 kilometres in full electric mode.

IgnitionLIVE Reporter