2008 Audi R8, the range of equipment available for the Audi R8 sports car now also includes the first full-LED headlamp. (source: Audi )
The Audi R8 Sports Car makes Paris Motor Show Debut. Visitors to the 2006 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris saw the debut of the 2008 Audi R8, a breathtaking new aluminum-bodied, mid-engined sports car.
May 30, 2008. First full-LED headlamp for the Audi R8.
Ingolstadt – Effective immediately, the range of equipment available for the Audi R8 sports car now also includes the first full-LED headlamp. In addition to the daytime running light which now features 24 LEDs per headlamp, light-emitting diodes are also used for the turn signals, the low-beam and the high-beam headlights. The €3,590 option rounds out the list of equipment available for the high-tech, mid-engine sports car.
The earlier launch of LED technology at the front of the car required a waiver by the European Union. The prominent advantages are lower energy consumption and a color that more closely resembles daylight, provides greater contrast and is easier on the human eye. LEDs are also non-wearing, require a lower voltage, are compact and offer greater design freedom.
The new full-LED headlamp represents the pinnacle of Audi's lighting strategy. The use of LEDs already enjoys a long tradition. This innovative technology has previously been used in production vehicles for tail light functions, brake lights and daytime running lights. Since early 2003, Audi has also used the semiconductor technology in a number of concept cars to implement some or all of the lighting functions at the front of the car.
The brand with the four rings first introduced a strip-shaped fog lamp at the Detroit Auto Show in 2003. That same year, the Audi Nuvolari quattro showing the first full-LED headlamp was a highlight of the Geneva Auto Show. And the Le Mans quattro – a legitimate predecessor to the Audi R8 – illuminated the Frankfurt night with LEDs on the eve of the 2003 Frankfurt Auto Show.
Additional concept cars and many refinements to the light source and headlamp geometry followed. This technological highlight is now available as an option for the Audi R8, where it joins other very well-known high-tech components such as the aluminum Audi Space Frame, ceramic brakes and the mid-mounted V8 engine with FSI technology.
March 2007. Audi Announces 2008 R8 U.S. Pricing.
Audi of America, LLC announced today pricing for the all-new 2008 R8 sports car. The R8 with a six- speed manual transmission will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $109,000 when it launches this fall in the United States. Models equipped with the six-speed R tronic automatic gearbox will start at $118,000.
The R8 is the first mid-engine sports car Audi has ever produced. With a 420 hp V8 4.2L FSI engine and rear-biased quattro(R) all-wheel drive system, the R8 has the performance capabilities unlike any Audi before it. With a zero to 60 mph time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 187 mph, the R8 is the fastest Audi ever produced. The lightweight aluminum frame and body and 44:56 front-to-rear weight distribution give the R8 tremendous handling capabilities, with the balance expected of a mid-engine sports car.
Standard luxury features include Audi magnetic ride, automatic bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED taillights and LED engine compartment lighting. 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, power and heated leather/Alcantara sport seats, cruise control, Sirius(R) satellite radio, and nine-speaker audio system. An optional Convenience Package includes Audi parking system advanced with rearview camera, Audi hill hold assist, a six-disc CD changer, HomeLink(R), Bluetooth(R) phone prep, auto dimming exterior mirrors, and a storage package.
Stand alone options on the R8 include a 12-speaker, 465-watt Bang & Olufsen(R) sound system, Alcantara headliner, Audi navigation plus, an upgraded Leather Package, and Enhanced Leather Package which includes a leather covered dash and interior trim pieces, metallic/pearl effect paint, carbon fiber sideblades, body color sideblades, and the previously mentioned R tronic automatic gearbox. These options allow R8 owners to personalize their sports car to make it an even more exclusive vehicle than it is right from the hand-assembly plant in Neckarsulm, Germany.
Audi's history in America dates to 1969, when the brand was first introduced to the U.S. market. Today, a network of over 260 Audi dealers currently offers a line of premium vehicles that include the Audi A3 compact; the sporty A4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high performance S4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high-revving RS 4 sports sedan; the design-leading A6 sedan and Avant; the all-new Audi Q7 performance SUV; and the all-aluminum Audi A8; and the new V10-powered S6 and S8 performance sedans.
"Quattro" is a registered trademark of AUDI AG. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
(source: Audi Press Release).
The high-performance two-seater coupe features a classic mid-engine configuration with quattro permanent all-wheel drive with variable torque split. The R8 is powered by a 4.2-liter FSI V8 engine and catapults the R8 from 0-62 mph in 4.6 seconds, with a top speed of 187 mph. The innovative Audi Space Frame, (ASF) is a combination of aluminum and magnesium materials with high rigidity for improved handling.
The R8's mid-engine design offers 44/56 front/rear weight distribution for excellent directional stability in extreme driving situations, while dry sump lubrication means the V8 can be mounted for a low center of gravity. Inside, fortunate owners will enjoy a race car inspired layout with a driver-oriented cockpit, combined with typical Audi quality of workmanship.
The Audi R8 is being produced as a small production series in a separate, newly equipped production shop in Neckarsulm. Small specialist teams take care of each stage of production, intensively monitoring the quality of every component. As a result, the maximum number of cars that can be built in one day is 15.
The genes of a winner.
Audi has incorporated the name and the genes of the five-time Le Mans winner, the Audi R8, into a spectacular sports car. Three years after the unveiling of the Audi Le Mans quattro concept car, the production version will be making its debut at the Paris Motor Show in the guise of the new Audi R8 mid-engined sports model. It is a fascinating driving machine and the sporty pinnacle of the Audi brand. The mid-mounted 420 bhp V8 FSI engine, quattro permanent four-wheel drive and Audi Space Frame aluminium body form the basis for truly outstanding driving dynamics. The Audi R8 will be available to order from 28 September 2006; first deliveries will be made in the first half of 2007.
As the first Audi mid-engined sports car, the R8 combines Audi's experience gained from numerous motorsport triumphs with groundbreaking design and the acknowledged technological expertise of the brand. This expertise has led to the slogan 'Vorsprung durch Technik' becoming a byword for leading-edge technology both on the race track and on the road.
Audi has recorded countless motorsport victories on race tracks all over the world. Following the rally successes of the Ingolstadt brand in the 1980s, and its triumphs on the touring car circuit, the world of long-distance motor racing was without a doubt the biggest challenge yet faced by Audi?s motorsport engineers.
And they mastered this challenge in style too: the Audi R8 won the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours five times - from 2000 to 2002 and in 2004 and 2005 - and on two occasions even took the first three places.
Le Mans is without doubt the toughest challenge to the Audi Sport Team's engineers because it calls for a level of engineering going far beyond the need merely to keep all the systems focussed on a short, sharp sprint. Alongside the essential virtues of top performance and optimised driving dynamics, the key requirements in long-distance racing are endurance and reliability, allied with optimum ergonomic design.
These are genes which are eminently transferable to a road-going sports car too, and which, allied to its exciting design, make the Audi R8 truly unmistakeable.
Even at first glance, the calibre of the car is plain to see. The Audi R8 sits broad and squat on the road, the strongly accentuated rear end appearing to flex its muscles like a sprinter ready for the off.
The characteristic proportions of the vehicle are dictated by the location of the engine behind the cockpit. This layout is a typical feature of race cars. One of the most striking examples of this design, and as such one of the legitimate antecedents of the Audi R8, was, and still is, the Auto Union Type C Grand Prix car. The central position of the engine is above all a boon to driving dynamics, as it allows for a weight distribution, as on the R8, of 44 percent to the front and 56 percent to the rear.
The car's body is highly compact in appearance. The front end and the gently curved roof arc are drawn in a sweeping line; a line which immediately marks the two-seater out as an Audi.
The side view also reveals familiar contours. The dynamic line above the wheel arches and the shoulder line interlink the front end, side and rear, imbue the doors and the transition to the side air vent with a strong presence, and even more emphatically highlight the typical Audi rounded wheel housings accommodating the big wheels.
The cabin of the Audi R8 is pushed far forward, a typical feature of a mid-engined sports car, and as such a visual cue linking it to the race car of the same name. Behind the cabin, positioned in front of the rear axle, is the V8 FSI engine, a sculptured piece of engineering visible both through the large, shield-shaped rear window and from inside the car.
1.90 metres wide but just 4.43 metres long and 1.25 metres high: these are the proportions of a true sports car. The 2.65-metre wheelbase offers room for the astonishingly spacious cabin and the longitudinally mounted engine behind it. Behind the doors, a large-surface 'sideblade' air deflector sweeps between the wheel arch and the roof section, delivering air for the V8 to breathe as well as for cooling. The paint finish of the sideblades is coordinated with the body colour.
The front end is characterised by the trapezoidal styling of the Audi single-frame grille, flanked on the right and left by additional large-dimensioned air intakes. For the first time, the four-ring badge is positioned on the bonnet, above the grille. The flat strips of the innovative LED headlights, with their clear-glass covers, join flush to the tops of the air intakes.
The R8 is the first series-production car to offer the option of ordering all the headlight functions, dipped beam, main beam, daytime running lights and indicators, as LEDs. LED stands for 'light-emitting diodes', and represents a technology which offers substantial advantages over conventional bulbs based on a much longer life.
Because they take up less space than conventional lights, LEDs provide the designers with greater freedom to be creative. The design of the strikingly three-dimensional main headlights, using LED technology, is particularly eye-catching.
Bionics, in other words drawing design inspiration from nature, has been deployed on the R8's headlights. The light unit has a design reminiscent of an open pine cone. Reflector shells arranged concentrically one behind the other, in conjunction with a powerful LED projection system, concentrate the light from one multi-chip LED, producing a high-luminosity, even form of driving light.
The internal reflectors of the main beam headlight are styled in a shape inspired by the architecture of the Sydney Opera House. And in contrast to them, the daytime running lights delimit the underside of the headlight as narrow strips of light, delivering distinctive signals and providing an innovative visual touch. It will be possible to order LED headlights as options from the end of 2007 onwards.
The interplay of concave and convex lines contours the side-on view of the rear end. Underneath the clearly defined separation edge there is a flat vertical surface framed at its sides by the rear lights, also in LED technology. The third brake light strip runs across virtually the full width of the roof, forming the termination of the transparent engine hood.
The latter feature is yet another visual highlight. The observer looks right onto the V8, the very heart of this sports car. Indirect engine compartment lighting by white LEDs, enabling the engine to be seen even in the dark, is available as an option.
Two large-format diffuser openings in the rear bumper illustrate how intensively the styling of the Audi R8 is dictated by aerodynamics. The two pairs of circular twin exhaust tailpipes each sit at the right and left above the diffuser openings.
An automatically extending rear spoiler is deployed to assist the R8 in using the wind. It provides additional downforce to boost the suction effect produced by the aerodynamic styling of the underbody and by the diffusers. When travelling at lower speeds, the rear spoiler automatically retracts flush with the body.
The full aluminium body is constructed in the Audi Space Frame (ASF) design. Its perfect synthesis of minimal weight and maximum rigidity provides the ideal foundation for optimum driving dynamics, as well as delivering an outstanding power-to-weight ratio of just 3.71 kg per bhp.
The sporty interior is dominated by a totally driver-oriented cockpit architecture, integrating the driver between the dashboard and the high centre console. The instrument panel above the console is angled slightly towards the driver. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is a typical feature of the sportiest Audi models, and also enables comfortable sports car entry and exit.
Form follows function: this design principle is implemented throughout the Audi R8. Alongside the driver-oriented architecture, also reflected in the styling of the side window sills, the choice of materials also makes for a highly functional look and feel. Looking around when in the driving seat makes one thing clear: just like in the R8 race car, the styling and placement of all the elements in the cockpit of this driving machine is focussed on the essentials. The centrepoint of everything is the driver.
This combination of the aesthetic and the ergonomic is maintained in the colours used and the overall ambience created - dark hues reflect the emphasis on engineering and are again reminiscent of the motorsport world. The impression of professional functionality and ergonomic styling is enhanced by the visible presence of top-quality materials in supreme craftsmanship.
The sports seats are trimmed as standard in a Leather/Alcantara combination, or optionally in full leather. Alternatively, the R8 can also be fitted with bucket seats, specially developed by quattro GmbH. There is plenty of room for the two occupants, with comfort levels well beyond the norm of high-performance sports cars. There is space behind the seats to stow large bags, or even two golf bags. The luggage compartment at the front has a capacity of 100 litres.
With numerous trim variants and applications in Piano finish or Carbon sigma, there are few limits to the range of customisation options for the interior.
The drive train.
Turbine-like power up to the highest rev ranges, a high maximum torque, all combined with a fascinating sound, are the characteristics of a perfect sports car engine. An engine that is fascinating both in terms of its enormous power potential and its suitability for everyday use.
In the high-revving 420 bhp eight-cylinder engine, the evolution of FSI petrol direct injection technology has reached a new high. This technology has also enjoyed many triumphs in the Audi R8 race car.
The figures illustrate the outstanding potential of the eight-cylinder unit. At 7,800 rpm the 4.2-litre engine delivers 309 kW (420 bhp) of power output. Peak torque is 430 Newton-metres from 4.500 to 6,000 rpm. And no less than 90 per cent of this maximum torque is maintained consistently throughout a wide engine speed range from 3,500 all the way to 7,600 rpm. As a result of these qualities, the eight-cylinder power unit provides maximum thrust in virtually any driving situation.
The performance figures are equally impressive: the R8 accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 301 km/h.
The engine is a high-revving unit. The maximum engine speed is 8,250 rpm. The advantages of this principle are superior power output at high engine speeds and a smooth, eager responsiveness all across the revs range. Added to this are its agility, liveliness and engine sound, which is similar to that of a race car.
The Audi R8's dry sump lubrication, another technology originating directly from motor racing, provides the ideal basis for maximum longitudinal and lateral acceleration. It allows the V8 to be installed lower, thereby lowering the centre of gravity and further enhancing driving dynamics.
Two transmissions are available: a manual 6-speed gearbox or optionally the Audi R tronic sequential-shift gearbox. Here, too, the influence of the motorsport world is clearly evident, with a joystick gear-shift on the centre console and, most especially, the paddles mounted on the steering wheel, which are a long-established ergonomic feature in motorsport. The best illustration of this is once again the Le Mans winning Audi R8, which also enables the driver to change gear on the steering wheel.
'Shift by wire' technology provides for very fast gear-shifting and an outstanding power-to-weight ratio, allied to compact gearbox dimensions. The Sport mode, with its fast shifting, guarantees the absolute maximum in terms of driving fun. An automatic mode can also be selected.
Such a powerful Audi is of course fitted with permanent four-wheel drive, which distributes the power variably to the front and rear axles by way of a viscous clutch. On the Audi R8 the legendary quattro system is adapted to the axle load distribution typical of mid-engined cars.
The chassis features forged aluminium double wishbones at the front and rear. At the front they are triangulated, while at the rear the top one is triangulated and the bottom one is a triangulated wishbone with a track rod. This provides for optimum wheel control, and is a geometry which has proved itself to be the ideal solution in delivering agility, maximum steering precision and precisely defined self-steering characteristics.
Direct, hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering provides optimum feedback to assist the driver.
The spring and damper set-up is stiff in order to deliver maximum driving dynamics, while still providing a quite astonishing level of ride comfort. This is particularly true when the 'Audi magnetic ride' adaptive damper system is chosen as an alternative to the standard gas-filled shock absorbers.
The reason for this is that these shock absorbers employ an innovative technology. Instead of the conventional damper fluid, a magnetorheological fluid is used, in other words, a fluid whose viscosity can be influenced by an electromagnetic field. This effect enables the damping characteristic to be influenced electronically at will and instantaneously, by applying a voltage to the electromagnets.
Audi magnetic ride uses this property to deliver the correct damping forces in every driving situation, thus optimising ride comfort and driving dynamics. A computer equipped with sensor technology determines the prevailing driving situation in a matter of milliseconds. Drivers can choose from two driving programs depending on whether they want to drive in a highly sporty style, with the magnetorheological fluid adjusted to a low viscosity, or with the emphasis more on ride comfort.
The Audi R8 is fitted with 6-arm 18-inch wheels as standard, and can optionally be ordered with 19-inch wheels. The 235/40 size tyres at the front and up to 285/35 at the rear provide the necessary road-holding. This tyre configuration also ensures that this mid-engined sports car is always able to translate the dynamism of its drive train and chassis into optimum grip and maximum lateral dynamics.
The mid-engined sports car's long wheelbase and extremely low centre of gravity ensure that it always retains maximum stability, resulting in superb agility, finely attuned responsiveness to any driver input, and high levels of safety.
Equipment and trim.
Even the standard equipment of the Audi R8 meets the high demands of customers in this segment. Xenon plus lights, LED rear lights and daytime running lights, 18-inch aluminium wheels, an audio system with 7-inch monitor, an anti-theft alarm and Leather/Alcantara interior trim are just some of the items on the extensive list of standard features.
The range of optional extras leaves virtually nothing to be desired. A Bang & Olufsen sound system, featuring an output of 465 watts and 12 specially designed speakers, delivers surround sound of the highest standard. A microphone-based vehicle noise compensation system adjusts audio levels to changing road conditions and speeds.
The acoustic parking system and a rear-view camera help the driver to manoeuvre into even the tightest of spaces. The radio/navigation system plus, featuring a large-format colour monitor and MMI keypad, combines extensive functionality with extreme user-friendliness.
A range of coordinated and ideally combinable design and leather trim packages from Audi and from quattro GmbH can turn any R8 into the customer's personal dream car.
The wheels range offers design alternatives in sizes of 18 and 19 inches, fitted with 235/35 size tyres at the front and up to 295/30 at the rear. A total of eight exterior colours are available, from Ibis White to Phantom Black, pearl effect.
The Audi R8 is being built on a small-lot production line in a specially constructed new block at the Audi plant in Neckarsulm. The entire production process ? from the bodyshell construction to final assembly, is organised in the same way as a craft workshop. Small teams of specialists accompany every step of production, subjecting every part and component to intense scrutiny. This ensures that every one of the maximum of 15 cars per day built will more than match the customary high quality standards of the Audi product range.
(source: Audi AG, text edited by Brian Potter of WCF)
Audi Exchange. (9-16-6)
The most upfront and simple explanation so far. I am on my salesman's list. They are not taking deposits and do not know pricing. They will notify me when anything changes.
Audi Exchange. (12-30-6)
I called my contact again to go over all I was hearing. This is the dealer I think is best in Chicago. It is where I plan to buy this (and every other Audi) I ever get. He assured me that I am on his list. If I would feel better giving him a deposit, I can do do, but it is not required at this time since no one really knows any real details. Anyone who tells me otherwise is making shit up. He assured me it is in his best interest as well to sell me the car and he's got my back.
Continental Audi. (12-23-6)
They are an "official R8 dealer" they say. they will get 5 in 2007 and 20 in 2008. In order to get on the list, i have to write an official letter stating so, and I have to mail it to the owner, Joel Weinberger. He will then look over the letter and contact me if I am "accepted" to the "interest list".
Laurel Audi Of Tinley Park. (12-23-6).
They are getting two R8s. To "insure" I get one, i need to go in and give them a $2500 deposit. When my "spec-date" comes up, i need to add another $2500 to my deposit for a total of $5000. I should then expect delivery by end of summer.
Fletcher Jones Audi. (12-23-6)
He doesn't know anythng. Tells me there is a "hefty dealer service fee" they have to pay Audi to be an R8 dealer, and they are not sure if they will become one. He asks me to call them back sometime in February or March. He then asks me for a $10,000 deposit!!!
McGrrath Audi. (12-22-6)
Called, left message with my contact to call me back regarding my interest in an R8.
McGrrath Audi. (12-28-6)
On 12-28, he calls me, but I am in a meeting.
McGrrath Audi. (12-29-6)
I call him back. He tells me they are getting 2 or 3 R8s. The first is spoken for, there is a deposit on the second, and I can probably get the third (and possibly the second... he thinks they guy might back out) if I come in and gib=ve him a $2000 deposit. Targeted delivery of late fall. They have not determined whether they will sell them at sticker or add a mark-up, but he suspects they will go for sticker. Around $100 to $110.
The Collection. (2.12.8)
I am told that it is illegal to sell a new car in Miami over sticker. I am also told that they can get me an R8 at sticker (if I wait a year or two). But wait, look here, we have a couple "used" ones at 25k to 40k over sticker. I can have one of those if I want.
McGrrath Audi. (4-12-8)
I get an email letting me know that when the v10 R8 comes out, he can get me a v8 R8 at sticker.
From AudiWorld forums comes...
Stopped by Sonnen Motors in San Rafael today to put a deposit on a R8 and was told by the salesman that it would require a $25K down. WTF! I told him I'm walking and if he wanted my business he would have to settle on $5K. Here comes the typical BS... "I need to run this by the sales manager". Five minutes later he arrives with a one page brocure and says "We are not taking deposits at this time until our dealership decides if it wants to pay out $250,000 for the exclusive right to sell the R8".
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