Whether on a race track or a mountain pass road – the new high-performance sports car from Audi impresses with its dynamics. It executes steering inputs nearly without delay, and it reaches very high speeds in curves. It does this while remaining fully neutral.
The Audi drive select system and the performance programs dry, wet and snow (standard on the V10 plus, optional on the V10) add new facets to the driving experience. The differences in handling can be experienced, and control limits are shifted far into the dynamic limit range.
The chassis offers greater comfort than in the previous model. Double wishbones made of aluminum – a classic design principle from car racing – are used in the suspensions for all four wheels. Rubber-metal mounts transfer lateral forces into the car body in a defined way, while assuring good elasticity in a longitudinal direction. New transverse link mounts at the front and rear axles enhance comfort, stability and precision. The car’s track width is 1,599 mm (5.2 ft) at the rear and 1,638 mm (5.4 ft) at the front.
The electromechanical rack power steering system has also been redesigned from scratch. It provides differentiated road feedback and also saves a tremendous amount of energy compared to the hydraulic steering system in the previous model. It has a steering ratio of 15.7:1, and power steering assist varies as a function of the vehicle driving speed.
Dynamic steering is available as an alternative for both engine versions. Its superposition gear varies the ratio as a function of vehicle speed between 10.0:1 and 17.5:1. In a parking garage, the steering is very direct, and on the freeway it is indirect and smooth. In the performance programs (standard on the V10 plus, optional on the V10), a fixed ratio of just 13:1 is used. At the curve limit, the dynamic steering system countersteers with tiny impulses to add more stability.
A bit stiffer: the new Audi R8 V10 plus
The chassis tuning differs between the two engine versions – the top version has stiffer springs and dampers on-board (optional on the R8* V10). As an option, Audi can deliver the Audi magnetic ride system in either version – it adapts the operating mode of the dampers to the profile of the road and style of the driver – individually for each wheel at millisecond cycles. A synthetic oil in the pistons of the shock absorbers has very small magnetic particles embedded in it. When a voltage is applied to a coil, a magnetic field is generated in which the particles align transverse to the direction of flow. They thereby restrict the flow of oil through the piston channels.
Audi magnetic ride is incorporated into the control of the Audi drive select dynamic driving system, which is standard equipment in the new Audi R8. The driver can use this system to vary the mode of operation of key technical components over four basic modes: comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. In the dynamic stage, the quattro drive system assists in executing controlled, safe drifts. The accelerator pedal, steering, shift points and sound are even stiffer, so that the dynamics can be experienced. In the auto mode, on the other hand, traction has priority – this translates into high speed and fast lap times on the race track.
In the performance mode of the new Audi R8 V10 plus (optional on the V10), the driver can use a dedicated satellite button with a turn wheel on the multifunction steering wheel plus to select one of the programs dry, wet or snow.
They too are configured for maximum dynamic performance, and they take the friction coefficient of the road surface into consideration. The Audi drive select setting also influences Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC). On wet or snow-covered road surfaces, for instance, ESC modifies the thresholds of the ASR and ABS control systems accordingly.
Best grip: the wheels and tires
The new Audi R8 is equipped with factory-installed 19‑inch wheels. On the V10, the cast alloy wheels have a 5‑V-spoke design, while the V10 plus has forged wheels in 5‑twin-spoke design in matt titanium look. The tire sizes are 245/35 front and 295/35 rear. As an alternative, Audi offers three other 19‑inch versions, one of them for the winter. On the 20‑inch wheels – all in 10‑spoke Y design, but with different finishes – the tires are 245/30 and 305/30 in size, and optional sport tires are available. Of the four 20‑inch versions, one is intended for winter driving. Tire pressure monitoring with direct measurement of tire pressure and temperature is a standard feature.
There are large-size brakes behind the wheels. The standard steel disks of the new Audi R8 V10 have wave-shaped contours (wave design) that make them lightweight. They are internally ventilated and perforated. They are joined to aluminum brake caps by stainless steel pins which prevent the transfer of peak temperatures. Operating at the front wheels are eight-piston fixed calipers and disks 365 mm (14.4 in) in diameter; at the rear wheels, four-piston calipers and disks 356 mm (14.0 in) in diameter are used. The new electromechanical parking brake activates two dedicated floating calipers.
380 mm (15.0 in) diameter: the ceramic brakes
Audi installs brake disks made of carbon-fiber-reinforced ceramic on the new R8 V10 plus (optional on the V10). The geometry of their cooling channels ensures fast heat dissipation, and the friction ring is bolted to a forged aluminum brake cap. They are 380 mm (15.0 in) in diameter in front (with six-piston fixed calipers) and 356 mm (14.0 in) at the rear (with four-piston calipers). The ceramic disks are 15.2 kg (33.5 lb) lighter in weight than their steel counterparts. They are extremely temperature resistant and have a long service life. The brake calipers differ from one another in color too. The steel brakes are painted in gloss black – or optionally gloss red – and they display R8 logos. The calipers of the ceramic disks shine in anthracite colored paint with the “Audi ceramic” signature.
The Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) system that is being used is also a new development. It builds up brake pressure so quickly and precisely that its work is hardly perceptible. ESC may be switched over to a sport mode, or it may be deactivated altogether. New system functions include the multicollision brake assist system – a function that assists the driver by performing targeted braking maneuvers after an initial collision to avoid skidding and thereby hazardous secondary collisions.
ESC rounds out the handling properties of the new Audi R8. In fast driving through curves, torque vectoring – which is a software function of ESC – applies minimal braking interventions at the wheels on the inside of a curve. The difference in propulsive forces causes the high-performance sports car to turn into the curve very slightly – making its handling even more precise, sporty and stable. In the dynamic mode, the system is configured for maximum driving enjoyment. It assists in spontaneous turn-in and controlled drifts by active adjustments and slight brake interventions when oversteer occurs.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.