Doom and gloom may be car industry watchwords right now, but Audi has added some sonic boom with a 525-horsepower V10-powered version of its R8 supercar
The new road rocket might not be able to break the sound barrier, but it will crack the 0-100km/h sprint in 3.9 seconds and jet to 200km/h in around 12.
Top speed is 315km/h, the highest ever for a factory-built Audi road car.
The new 5.2-litre FSI petrol V10 is mounted longitudinally behind the cockpit and is almost identical to the one in the R8 LMS GT3 customer race car which is due to hit racetracks next year.
The motor is only 31kg heavier than the V8 used in regular R8s and gives the 1620kg car a power-to-weight ratio of 324 horsepower per tonne.
It develops 525 horsepower at 8000rpm, peak torque of 530Nm at 6500rpm, and is redlined at 8700rpm.
By mounting the engine directly behind the cockpit engineers have achieved a 44/56 front/rear weight distribution, and dry sump engine lubrication has allowed the engine to be mounted as low as possible, improving the centre of gravity.
The chassis uses Audi Space Frame (ASF) construction, double wishbone suspension front and rear and a magnetic adaptive damping system.
The system uses fluid containing minute magnetic particles that can be influenced by an electromagnetic field.
When voltage is applied to the system’s electromagnets, the particles alter the fluid’s viscosity, increasing resistance to damper movement to iron out pitch and roll in fast cornering and reducing resistance when ride comfort takes precedence.
The system constantly monitors road conditions and driving style and reacts accordingly.
The car has quattro permanent four-wheel drive, 380mm front and 356mm rear disc brakes which can be upgraded to virtually fade-free ceramic discs.
Audi says the R8 V10 has the world’s first all-LED headlights, with high intensity diodes for low and high beam.
The bodywork gets bigger side sills, wider side cooling, high gloss rear air outlets, oval exhaust tailpipes and a new rear aerodynamic diffuser.
Audi plans to start selling the V10-powered R8 next year.