No other production car from Audi is closer in concept to a race car than the new R8*. The occupant cell that is placed far forward, the strong emphasis of the wheel arches and the long back recall the look of a Le Mans race car – the R 18 e-tron quattro. Compared to the previous model, the car’s length (4,426 mm (14.5 ft)), height (1,240 mm (4.1 ft)) and wheelbase (2,650 mm (8.7 ft)) have not changed significantly, but the width has grown by around four centimeters (1.6 in) to 1,940 mm (6.4 ft).
The influential design ideas of the previous model are expressed in a tauter, more technical and precise way in the new Audi R8. Horizontal lines define the front view. The very sculptural Singleframe radiator grille in honeycomb look – executed in a matt finish on the V10 and in a gloss finish on the V10 plus – has a very broad and low design. Three-dimensionally formed surfaces join it to the wedge-shaped headlights; they emphasize the tension of the design. The four rings are placed on the hood.
37 LEDs per unit: LED headlights with laser spot
Like the grille, the large trapezoidal air inlets also have inserts in honeycomb look. Their two vertical slats match the blade in the headlights that are part of the daytime running lights signature. The vertical blade is anodized blue in the version with the laser spot high-beam lights – a version that supplements the standard LED headlights with their 37 LEDs each.
The laser spot doubles the range of the high-beam light. In each headlight there is a module with four powerful laser diodes that are just 300 micrometers in diameter. They generate a blue laser beam with a wavelength of 450 nanometers. A phosphorus converter converts it into white light with a color temperature of 5,500 Kelvin that is pleasing to the human eye. The laser spot – which is active outside of urban areas at speeds of 60 km/h (37.3 mph) and above – offers tremendous advantages in terms of visibility and safety to drivers. An intelligent camera-based sensor system detects other road users and actively adjusts the light pattern to dim the light intensity specifically for them.
Audi combines the new technology with the dynamic turn signals, which are placed along the upper edge of the headlight together with the daytime running lights. Depending on the model, the turn signals are implemented as either individual LEDs or LED blocks. As soon as the driver activates the turn signal, these LEDs light sequentially from inside to out – i.e. in the direction in which the driver is turning.
The side view of the new Audi R8 exhibits taut, clean lines that delineate curved surfaces. The contours above the wheels reference the quattro drive system. The flowing shoulder line connects the wheels with one another while dividing the sideblade in two visual elements – an upper and a lower half.
The door handles are placed nearly invisibly in the shadow of this line. This new design solution makes the high-performance sports car appear even longer and more dynamic. The light edges on the side sills are recreated in the aerodynamic blades of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
The fuel lid is made of aluminum in both engine versions; it is integrated in the upper blade on the right side of the car and has an R8 logo. To open it, the driver presses on the smooth surface to the left of the fuel lid, then the driver presses the nozzle right into the filler neck – just like on a race car, it is no longer necessary to unscrew a cap.
For downforce: the wings of the R8 V10 plus
At the rear, the design also documents the affinity of the new Audi R8 for motorsport – its dominating elements serve to generate downforce. The R8 V10 plus has a large fixed rear wing made of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP); on the R8 V10, the spoiler is electrically extended at a speed of 120 km/h (74.6 mph). The contours on the two sides of the rear window, through which the engine is visible, contribute to smooth air flow over the car.
The diffuser with its distinctive slats is extremely wide and is flanked by the two trapezoidal tail pipes of the exhaust system. They are chrome-plated on the V10 and gloss black on the V10 plus as well as with the optional sport exhaust system. The prominent horizontal lines give the rear body a very wide look. The verticals run diagonally downward and outward – forming a triangle and emphasizing the stance of the new Audi R8 on the road.
The large inlet openings for the engine compartment – also in honeycomb look with upright slats – form a single visual unit together with the lights. Their fork-like contours produce a distinctive red signature when the daytime running lights are activated. The adaptive brake light flashes at a faster frequency with hard braking. Each tail light integrates 118 individual LEDs, which generate an absolutely uniform light pattern. The dynamic rear turn signal lights are a standard feature.
Audi offers its new high-performance sports car in eleven colors. The solid finish paints are: dynamite red, ibis white and Vegas yellow. The metallic tones are: camouflage green, floret silver, mythos black, Suzuka gray and tango red.
The color palette is rounded out by the pearl effect paint Daytona gray, the crystal effect macaw blue and the matt finish camouflage green. The Audi exclusive program lets customers have any paint colors blended according to their wishes.
Six versions of sideblades are available – the paint colors are: ice silver, metallic (standard on the R8 V10), Kendo gray, mythos black, oxygen silver and titanium gray, matt as well as one version in gloss CFRP (standard on the R8 V10 plus). As an alternative, customers may choose any color for the sideblades in the Audi exclusive program.
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.