In the 2015 season, Audi simultaneously presented the new R8* and the R8 LMS at the Geneva Motor Show. It was the first time for a production model and a racing version to see a joint premiere – and for good reason, as the technologies of both cars are closely akin to each other.
Motorsport is in Audi’s genes and the new Audi R8 puts the concentrated racing expertise of the four rings from the track onto the road. The new R8 V10 plus is the most powerful and fastest production Audi of all time – no other Audi offers more dynamic emotion. Due to the close collaboration between race engineers, race drivers and developers, the new Audi R8 is capable of delivering higher performance than ever – which benefits both the production car and the Audi R8 LMS that has been developed based on the road-going version.
Lightweight design for example: The ASF body features a completely new multi-material lightweight design. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) components form the B-pillars, the center tunnel and the rear wall. The front end, the roof arch and the rear end are assembled as a framework of cast aluminum nodes and profiles, some of which consist of new alloys. As in any ASF, every component has been precisely designed for its place and purpose. For example, the developers have integrated a number of components in the bodyshell according to their respective functions. As a result, the bodyshell is now 15 percent lighter than that of the predecessor. At the same time, the torsional stiffness of the production model is 40 percent higher. Particularly in terms of stiffness, the body of the new Audi R8 sets standards. The resulting quality of the lightweight design is the benchmark among competitors. The race car is precisely based on this ASF body as well. Complemented by a steel roll cage, the new chassis in the race car is 30 kilograms lighter than the predecessor’s.
The engine for example: The ten-cylinder engine is assembled by hand at the engine plant in Győr, Hungary – for both the road-going and the racing version. The new generation of the Audi R8 uses the most recent evolution of the 5.2 FSI ten-cylinder that has now become an even more powerful and high-torque unit.
The standard dry-sump lubrication is a classic motorsport technology. It allows for low installation of the unit which benefits the center of gravity. In addition, it ensures oil supply even in conditions of extreme lateral acceleration. As a result, the engine offers reserves that are completely sufficient for racing purposes as well. The robust V10 in racing has been designed for a service interval of 10,000 kilometers and 20,000 kilometers for the first rebuild. These intervals are a crucial advantage for many teams in analyzing the cost effectiveness of the race car.
The close connection between the production and the race car starts with the design stage and ends with manufacturing. The new Audi R8 is made at a new production site of quattro GmbH that has specifically been established for the sports car – the Böllinger Höfe industrial park in Heilbronn. In addition to the production model, the chassis of the race car is produced at the factory. The sports car is subsequently completed with racing-specific components at the race car assembly site in Heilbronn-Biberach. The great similarity between both models was already a key characteristic of the predecessor – and a guarantee for success.