In both R8 engine variants, the forces are transmitted to the lightning-fast seven-speed S tronic. Drivers can switch gears themselves or let the dual-clutch transmission do the work in programs D and S. At the push of a button, the driver can start off with launch control, which engages the clutch at around 4,500 rpm – it applies the power of the V10 to the road with perfectly controlled tire slip. When the Audi drive selectdynamic handling system is operating in Comfort mode and the vehicle is traveling at a speed above 55 km/h (34.2 mph), the seven-speed S tronic switches to freewheeling, also known as coasting, when the accelerator pedal is released. It disengages both clutches, and the high-performance sports car coasts relaxed.
Based on its three-shaft layout with one dual drive shaft and two output shafts, the seven-speed S tronic mounted behind the engine is very compact. The mechatronics operates and lubricates the transmission; an oil pump is sufficient for supplying the gear sets, clutches and integrated mechanical locking differential. The propeller shaft runs through the bedplate of the dry sump oil pan to the front axle. An electro-hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch is mounted there, forming a unit with the front differential.
Fully variable torque distribution with the quattro drive
The quattro drive gives the Audi R8 a crucial advantage in terms of traction, dynamics and driving safety. It is tailored specially to the mid-engine concept. Its management permanently determines the ideal torque distribution for the respective driving situation, driver commands, ambient conditions and the mode of the Audi drive select system. The multi-plate clutch is integrated in the thermal management of the engine and transmission for the purpose of maximum performance and carries out a fully variable transmission of the calculated torque to the front wheels. There is no fixed basic distribution; up to 100 percent can be transmitted to the front or rear axle.
Wheel-selective torque control, a software function of the refined Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), serves as an addition to the quattro drive. In fast cornering, it minimally brakes the inside wheels, which are under a reduced load. 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.
The purely mechanical rear differential further improves traction and dynamic handling – it builds up a 25 percent locking effect in traction and 45 percent in thrust. This results in turn-in behavior that practically eliminates understeer. The mid-engine is positioned very near the vertical axis of the car’s center of gravity, so the inertia of its mass hardly comes into play in fast changes of direction. The axle load distribution is 42:58.
All terms marked in the text are explained in detail in the technology lexicon at www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/technology-lexicon.
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.