In terms of its body characteristics, too, the Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro is at the top of its class. Built of aluminum in the Audi Space Frame (ASF) design, it weighs a mere 210 kilograms (463 lb). In the quality of its lightweight construction – the relation of weight, size and torsional rigidity – the ASF earns the best score in the sports car segment, which lays the foundation for its precise handling and its high level of crash safety.
Since the development of the first A8 in the early 1990s Audi has held pole position in aluminum lightweight design. In the ASF technology, the weight-bearing structure is composed of three groups of components, each of which combines maximum stability with minimum weight. Aluminum extrusions make up 70 percent of the body-in-white, vacuum-cast nodes 8 percent, and sheet aluminum panels, which also bear weight, make up 22 percent.
Firm connections: High-tech production
The ASF of the Audi R8, which integrates a weight-bearing engine frame of ultralight magnesium, is produced largely by hand in the Neckarsulm manufacturing plant of quattro GmbH. Maximum precision and the use of the most advanced joining techniques are taken for granted here: 99 meters of welding seams, 782 rivets and 308 self-tapping screws hold the body together. A fully automatic measuring system checks the dimensions of every single body with a precision in the one-tenth millimeter range.
An important component of the ASF is the separation wall between the passenger compartment and the engine compartment. It is lined with special materials on both sides, and the window is made of a sound-dampening glass – so the music of the ten cylinders behind the driver conveys a sense of energy but is never intrusive.
The equipment, specifications and prices stated herein refer to the model line offered for sale in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.