When The Garage announced Audi’s plans for the R8 GT last year, it wasn’t clear if there were any plans to import the car to the US, but thankfully a small number of buyers will be able to enjoy a lighter, more powerful R8. Total production is limited to 333 cars, 90 of which are destined for the US. The R8 GT is powered by a massaged 5.2L V-10 rated at 560hp (35hp more than a standard R8 5.2) paired to Audi’s R-Tronic sequential manual transmission. The R8 GT, according to Audi, will hit 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 199mph. Pricing is set at $196,800USD. Options available include carbon fiber reinforced ceramic brakes and a 12 speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo.
Our Ã¢â‚¬Å“DrivenÃ¢â‚¬Â series highlights the several cars I was able to sample at IMPAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Spring Brake 2010 event. These short takes are summaries of my driving impressions of the cars on the roads surrounding Bear Mountain State Park in Rockland County, New York.
Given my involvement in automotive journalism, I spend a great deal of time reading what others have to say about cars. And I confess, there are times when I simply get tired about reading about a particular car. The Audi R8 was one of them-everything I read just heaped praise on the car, and regardless of where I turned, the opinion was the same. The car is simply great.
When a Phantom Black R8 rolled into the parking lot shortly after our day began, I put the car on my ‘must-drive’ list. And, I should add, my counterparts are correct-the R8 is simply an awesome car. By now, you may have seen the TV commercial where an R8 is ran out of Maranello (home of Ferrari). I now fully understand that ad.
The raves and accolades bestowed upon Audi’s R8 two-seater exotic have been impressive, but it seems that Audi is not content to leave well enough alone-and this is good news. To critics, the R8 has proven to be a docile, livable exotic that is up to the rigors of a daily driver, but can deliver the goods on track day as well. The R8 GT ups the ante considerably.
Audi engineers went over every aspect of the R8 to shave weight off a car that was originally designed to be light. A total of 220lbs was saved. Weight savings came from using thinner windshield glass, a polycarbonate rear window, use of carbon fiber body pieces, lighter carpeting, and glass-reinforced plastic seat chassis. Audi also reconfigured the electronics to its 5.2L V-10, which is now good for 560hp-a 35hp increase over the “normal” V-10. The R-Tronic sequential manual will be the only transmission available. Audi claims 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds, 0-124mph in 10.6 seconds, and a top speed of 198.8mph.
As if the Audi R8 hardtop didn’t already have tongues wagging, Audi took the wraps off the Spyder at the Frankfurt auto show. The unique carbon fiber sideblades of the hardtop are gone. As the new flagship of the Audi line, the Spyder definitely boasts a clean, bold and distinct look from the hardtop. The 5.2 FSI features a Lamborghini-sourced V-10, punching out 525hp. That translates to 0-62mph times of 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 194mph. The fully automatic cloth top closes in 19 seconds, and can be lowered up to speeds of 30mph. My only question is why the couple pictured in the car aren’t smiling?
Our guy on the East Coast, Paul Chenard was lucky enough to be tipped off that the Audi R8 Trans-Canada Performance Tour had stopped in Halifax on Monday night. So Paul did what any self respecting car nut would do, he grabbed his camera and headed down to the local Audi store to grab a few shots. Like most of us, Paul was taken by the stunning shape and the throaty rumble from the pipes.
This morning there was the press release. Now, through the magic of YouTube we have the film for you!
60 Seconds of Audi history after the break
Spring 2007 seems to be the season of the big budget promo video. We’ve had high end shorts from Ferrari/Shell, Red Bull F1 and now Audi is getting in on the action with a pair of shorts for the upcoming A8 supercar.
Shot over 6 days in Mexico with 1050 extras, the films cover Audi’s motorsports heritage from each of the past 7 decades. Shot in HD by veteran camerman Ian Foster, this promises to be a great ride. The spots will debut in Germany on April 6th during the first airing of Will Smith’s I Robot on the RTL Channel.
Full story from Audi after the break
Quattro. The name evokes thoughts of white, yellow and black Group B rally cars cresting wet yumps at the 1000 Lakes Rally, or drifting past stone houses in the hills above Monaco. With the evolution of the Quattro, that beast has become known as the ÃƒÂ¼ber Quattro. Every AWD Audi since has been a Quattro, but never as outrageous as that early Eighties monster. Until now.
Audi has combined modern German technology with German/Italian motivation to create the ultimate road going Audi. Audi’s Quattro system, aluminum construction and a high revving V8 shared by Lamborghini, this really may be the new ÃƒÂ¼ber Q. Time will tell if this model will back up the motorsports dominance that the original Quattro displayed. What is certain, is that Audi has built a hyper performing, road holding new ÃƒÂ¼ber Quattro that could be an equally important part of the Quattro legend.
Audi press release after the break