New Audi R8 unveiled: news and specs of 2015 supercar

Published: 26 February 2015

Is this one of the highlights of next week's Geneva motor show? You're looking at the new 2015 Audi R8 supercar

Ingolstadt has issued these first official pictures and details of the second-generation R8. But can it go on move the goalposts like the first one did? It certainly looks like they've bottled the style progression, for this car looks incredibly like the last R8 with a few trinkets borrowed from the TT's wardrobe...  

Read on for the full story.

Audi R8 (2015): what's new

This time the R8 flips the engine roll-out on its head; only the V10 petrol is available at launch, although CAR understands a cheaper, less powerful V8 is a shoe-in.

The mid-mounted, dry-sumped 5.2-litre V10 produces a heady 602bhp, making it a pretty serious performance car; it’s exactly as fast as its Lamborghini Huracan sister, with a 0-62mph time claimed at 3.2 seconds.

It'll reach double that - 124mph - in just 9.9sec. Top speed? A distinctly supercar-sounding 205mph. No surprises for guessing this is the fastest Audi road car in history.

Aluminium tech underpins new R8

Previous R8s made extensive use of aluminium, but Ingolstadt today confirmed the R8 Mk2 uses a multi-material mix, blending aluminium and carbonfibre-reinforced plastic.

Hence the kerbweight is claimed at 1454kg (dry, without fluids onboard), or 1555kg as a conventional unladen weight. That’s 50 kilos less than the Mk1. Any forthcoming V8 model would be lighter still.

Two V10s available

Buyers can choose two specs of Audi R8 from launch, both packing the Huracan-shared V10, now with cylinder deactivation so it runs as a five-pot under light loads:

5.2 FSI 532bhp, 398lb ft 3.5sec 0-62mph, 201mph, 275g/km CO2
5.2 FSI 602bhp, 413lb ft 3.2sec 0-62mph, 205mph, 289g/km CO2

Those figures are all the more remarkable in an age when so many sports cars are going down the turbocharged route. Yes, that's you Ferrari.

A seven-speed twin-clutch transmission is the only gearbox available. Sad to say, they’ve binned the charismatic open-gate manual ‘box. Sad days; it brought memories flooding back of driving old 70s Ferraris.

Problem was, people just didn’t buy ‘em. So it's auto only now. At least it now comes with launch control for traffic light theatrics and above 35mph, it'll declutch and coast if you back off the throttle...

It's a Quattro, naturally

The new R8 retains four-wheel drive, as you would expect of a brand besotted by all-wheel traction. The new system can, however, shuffle torque around to either axle and Audi claims it can act as a 100% rear-wheel drive car in extremis. Nineteen-inch wheels are standard, though 20s are now an option for the first time.

Ceramic brake discs are also introduced on the R8, although only as a cost option. Also check out the distinctly Ferrari-ish manettino on the steering wheel, the Drive Select button toggling magnetic dampers, exhaust flaps and steering response for comfort, performance or snow settings.

New 2015 Audi R8 cabin

First deliveries of the new second-generation Audi R8 start in summer 2015, priced on the Continent from €165,400 for the base V10, €187,400 for the V10 Plus.

Standard LED lights mark out the front end and this will become the first Audi production car to offer laser lights as an option. Click here for more on the clever lamp technology.

Tell me about the new R8 E-Tron

The electric R8 has been confirmed today: it’ll boast a 340kW output (equivalent to 386bhp) and a crushing 679lb ft of torque. No wonder Audi says it’ll do 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, yet the claimed range stands at 280 miles.

A new R8 LMS racer is due in 2016 to compete in the GT3 category; it’s said to keep 50% of the components of the roadgoing R8.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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