Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Audi Press | posted February 27, 2015 09:11
All-new R8 weighs 50kg lighter thanks to Audi's new Space Frame
The 2015 Audi R8 has been revealed ahead of its scheduled debut at this year's Geneva Motor Show after official photos were allegedly leaked online. Looking sharper than the previous generation, the 2015 R8 now reflects Audi's current design language, a lighter chassis, an updated 5.2-liter V10 engine and an e-tron quattro variant.
From the outside it still has its signature silhouette but the front end now features revised headlights which are fitted with laser matrix headlights as standard. Over to the side it has large intakes near the rear wheel arches that create the car’s unique character lines. Completing the eye candy on the side is a set of 19-inch wheels wrapped in 245/35 tires at the front and 295/35 tires at the rear. A 20-inch set with 245/30 front tires and 305/30 rear tires will be optional.
The rear gets a flatter arched profile while the LED taillights are slimmer and edgier. Standard models are fitted with a retractable wing while the ‘Plus’ model is fitted with a fixed carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) wing. Finishing it all off is a wide diffuser that sits between the trapezoidal tailpipes.
Now using the company’s new Space Frame which combines aluminum and CFRP components, the standard model now only weighs 1,555kg while the Plus model tips the scale at 1,454 kg, making it 50kg lighter than its predecessor. Additionally, the Space Frame gives 40% more torsional rigidity according to Audi.
The cabin gets new bucket seats and a driver-focused cockpit as Audi did away with some of the buttons and switches and incorporated it onto the 12.3-inch display which was also fitted on the new Audi TT. Optional extras available for the cabin include a 500-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system along with the Audi phone box.
Powering both the standard and Plus model R8 is an updated 5.2-liter V10 engine. The standard unit produces 540 PS and 540 Nm while the Plus pumps out 610 PS and 560 Nm. Both engines are mated to an updated 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox feeds power through the quattro AWD system. On normal conditions, much of the power is sent to the rear wheels as the clutch will only send power to the front axle when needed.
The company revealed that an e-tron 2.0 R8 will also see production. Compared to the predecessor, it has a 450 km range which is due to an increased battery capacity of 92 kWh. Power has also been increased for the dual electric motors as it now generates 462 PS and 920 Nm, eclipsing the outgoing model's rating of 381 PS and 820 Nm.