At the Geneva Motor Show, Audi simultaneously unveiled the new R8 and the R8 LMS. As a result, the production car and racing version shared a premiere for the first time – and this for good reason: they are closely related on a technical level.
“Motorsport is in Audi’s genes, and it has always been an integral element of our brand character,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development. “With the new R8, our engineers bring the cumulative racing expertise from the race track to the road. No other model offers more dynamic emotion. The new R8 V10 plus is consequently the most powerful and fastest production Audi ever.” The new Audi R8 boasts a significant increase in performance thanks to the close cooperation between race engineers, racers and developers. This benefits both the production car as well as the R8 LMS developed on the production base.
Example lightweight design: The ASF chassis features a completely new multi-material lightweight design. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) components form the B-pillars, transmission tunnel and the rear bulkhead. The front and rear ends and roof arches are assembled as frames from cast-aluminum nodes and aluminum profile, some of which are manufactured from new alloys. As always with the ASF, every component is designed specifically to suit its mounting positon and designated purpose. As a consequence of their functions, the developers integrated several components into the chassis. If these components are ignored, the bare chassis is about 15 per cent lighter than its predecessor. At the same time, the torsional stiffness is 39 per cent better. Regarding the stiffness, the chassis of the new Audi R8 is a benchmark. The resulting lightweight index is unique among the competition. The race car is also assembled around exactly the same ASF chassis. Supplemented by a steel roll-cage, the new chassis used for the race car is around 30 kilograms lighter than that of the predecessor.
Example engine: both the road and race version of the ten-cylinder engine are assembled by hand at Audi’s Hungarian engine plant Győr. The new generation Audi R8 is equipped with the latest development stage of the 5.2 FSI V10, which produces even more power and torque than before.
The standard dry sump lubrication system is classic motorsport technology. It allows the engine to be installed lower, which results in a more favorable center of gravity. At the same time, it guarantees the supply of lubricant even under extreme lateral loads. In this way, the engine has reserves, which are sufficient for motorsport use. In its motorsport configuration, the robust V10 requires an inspection every 10,000 kilometers and runs for 20,000 kilometers before the first rebuild. This value is a crucial plus point when teams calculate the race car’s cost-effectiveness.
The new Audi R8 is produced in a new quattro GmbH manufacturing facility constructed specifically for the sports car – the ‘Böllinger Höfe’ in Heilbronn. Audi not only builds the production model at this factory, but also the race car chassis. The competition version is finally completed at the race car assembly plant in Heilbronn-Biberach where the motorsport-specific components are fitted. The great similarity of both former models was already striking – and a guarantee for success.