1 Oct 2007
UNTIL October 2007, the 'other' German prestige brand never had a supercar to call its own.
Let us introduce the R8. The R8 name is taken from the race cars that dominated at Le Mans and Audi spin doctors say the two cars share DNA.
Both have four wheels, the same name, a V8 engine and an Audi badge, but that is pretty much where the similarities end.
This road-going R8 was based on the same basic body as the Lamborghini Gallardo and used the same high-revving V8 engine as the RS4. The 309kW and 430Nm of torque was fed through all four wheels to ensure maximum traction.
Owners could choose from a six-speed manual or the R-tronic six-speed automated manual with an automatic mode, which was loosely based on the Lamborghini E-Gear system.
The R8 had a launch price befitting a supercar, with the manual coming in at $259,000 and the R-Tronic costing $274,900.
In August 2009 Audi unleashed a 5.2-litre, V10-powered R8, churning out 386kW at 8000rpm and some 530Nm of torque from 6500rpm. With just 60kg of extra weight to accelerate, the 5.2 R8 blasted to 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds in both (1620kg) manual and (1625kg) R-tronic guisesApart from being the quickest and fastest Audi production car ever produced, the R8 5.2 FSI quattro coupe would also go on to be one of the most exclusive vehicles available in Australia.
Setting the 5.2 apart from the 4.2 visually were LED headlights (a $10,300 option on the 4.2) which were claimed to be the first of their type available in Australia.
There was also a more heavily chromed grille and revised lower front air inlet, a unique ‘Sepang Blue’ exterior paint colour, large oval-shaped chromed outboard exhaust outlets (instead of the V8’s twin round items) and exclusive 10-spoke Y-design alloy wheels in place of the 4.2’s twin five-spoke units.