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Future models - Audi - R8 - 2006 Le Mans quattro

First look: Audi's Le Mans is le quick

Lively: The Le Mans is claimed to reach 100km/h in 3.7 seconds and 200km/h in 10.8 seconds.

Audi previews a supercar future with Lambo connections

Audi logo11 Sep 2003

THE rumour mill got it right this time – Audi was indeed planning to reveal a high-performance road-racer at this week's Frankfurt motor show.

And the mid-engined two-seater Le Mans quattro does not disappoint.

Built using plenty of technology from the new Lamborghini Gallardo - Audi owns the Italian supercar manufacturer - the Le Mans has an aluminium Audi Space Frame clothed in a carbon-fibre and aluminium skin.

The 1530kg sports car is endowed with the Gallardo's longitudinally mounted 5.0-litre twin-turbo V10 engine with FSI direct fuel injection, the latter used to great effect in the Le Mans-winning R8 racers.

It will be quick. Developing 449kW at 6800rpm and 750Nm between 1750-6800rpm, and driving all four wheels (based on a 60:40 front/rear ratio in normal conditions) via a six-speed sequential-shift gearbox, the Le Mans is claimed to reach 100km/h in 3.7 seconds and 200km/h in 10.8 seconds.

Striking a menacing pose, the Le Mans quattro is 1900m wide, 4370mm long and 1250mm high, and the 2650mm wheelbase has enabled the designers to carve out quite a spacious cockpit.

Double wishbone suspension is used at each end, where 20-inch wheels are shod with 255/30 (front) and 295/30 (rear) rubber.

Stopping power comes through eight-piston ceramic disc brakes measuring 380mm diameter at the front and 356mm at the rear.

Will it be built? Audi boss Martin Winterkorn was coy at this week's concept reveal, but the media speculation has the production car headed for launch sometime beyond 2005.

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