The V10, whose cylinder head covers are painted red, powers the Audi R8 GT like a race car. The sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) is a matter of 3.6 seconds; from zero to 200 km/h (124.27 mph) takes only 10.8 seconds. And acceleration remains brisk until the top speed of 320 km/h (198.84 mph) is reached.
Changes to the engine electronics coaxed an additional 26 kW (35 hp) from the high-revving ten-cylinder unit, which now produces 412 kW (560 hp) at 8,000 rpm from a displacement of 5,204 cc. The engine is electronically limited at 8,700 rpm. The torque curve peaks at 540 Nm (398.28 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm, 10 Nm (7.38 lb-ft) more than in the production version. The specific output of the V10 is 79.2 kW (107.6 hp) per liter of displacement. The R8 GT boasts a power-to-weight ratio of only 3.70 kilograms (8.16 lb) per kW, or 2.72 kilograms (6 lb) per hp.
Among the characteristic features of the V10 is the cylinder angle of 90 degrees, which lowers the center of gravity. Dry sump lubrication allows the engine to be installed low. Its highly efficient pump module ensures that the 40-valve engine is lubricated even under extreme lateral acceleration.
The long-stroke engine (bore x stroke 84.5 x 92.8 millimeters [3.33 x 3.65 in]), which is hand-built at the factory in Györ, Hungary, weighs only 258 kilograms (569 lb). It features a crankcase made of a aluminum-silicon alloy that is both lightweight and very strong. The high silicon content makes the cylinder barrels extremely durable. The bedplate – a stable frame for the crankshaft bearing bridges – further enhances the block’s rigidity.
The crankshaft is designed as a common pin shaft in order to combine maximum rigidity with minimal weight. The connecting rods of the opposing pistons engage a common crankpin, resulting in alternating firing intervals of 54 and 90 degrees.
This unique rhythm gives the V10 its fascinating sound – a technical music that gains new facets with increasing revs, with a powerful bass foundation and sharp overtones. Two flaps in the exhaust system modulate its volume and tone as a function of load and engine speed.
The powerful, normally aspirated engine consumes an average of 13.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (16.92 US mpg) – very good fuel economy given the tremendous power. The FSI gasoline direct injection system injects the fuel into the combustion chambers at up to 120 bar of pressure. Thanks to the internal cooling, this allows a high compression ratio of 12.5:1, which once again benefits efficiency. Tumble flaps in the intake ports optimize the filling of the combustion chambers by inducing a tumbling motion in the inflowing air. The camshafts, as well as the oil pump, water pump and parts of the auxiliaries, are powered by maintenance-free chains located on the rear wall of the engine. This design principle is an exclusive feature of the V8 and V10 engines that accounts for much of the compactness of the complete drivetrain. The induction pipe is made of lightweight plastic and designed for optimized flow conditions through the ports. The engineers consciously decided not to use a variable intake system in order to optimize the engine in the upper rev range.
The Audi engineers have also rigorously shaved weight from other engine-related components. The engineers found 9.4 kilograms (20.72 lb) in the battery, 2.3 kilograms (5.07 lb) in the air intake module and 2.8 kilograms (6.17 lb) in the insulation of the engine compartment. This was accompanied by a variety of other measures, such as the use of lightweight steel for the exhaust tailpipe trims.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.