An Audi branded nameplate is renowned for its attachment to high class, elegant, and ultimately sleek cars that also tend to be a little off the mainstream compared to many other luxury vehicles. For the Audi R8 specifically, the title holds some significant weight. Below, we’ll go over some of the defining design elements, lore, and performance capabilities that make the R8 what it is, what it was, and what it soon will be. Audi R8 horsepower potential is virtually unlimited in the current models, leaving the potential in the wallets of the tuners.
The Audi R8 may currently be known for its road car present, but before that it was defined by its impressive status as a leading race car build. The R8 race car won the 24 Hours of Le Mans competition an astronomical five out of the seven years it competed: from 2000-2002, and again in 2004 and 2005. This feat made it a true race competitor to be reckoned with, and is a primary factor in the push at corporate levels for the R8 name to be used on a passenger version as well.
When Audi finally released the R8 road version in 2006, there were initially some perplexed consumers who got caught up in the confusion between the R8 race car and the new passenger edition. Though certainly not streamlined to look quite like a traditional race car, the Audi R8 was speedy and dynamic. The car was built on a monocoque made of aluminum for optimal load support, and still only comes in two-door versions. Another feature of note is that models include Audi’s signature all-wheel drive Quattro system, and that all the cars are designed off of the Lamborghini Gallardo platform.
By 2014, Audi plans to replace the current R8 road car with an entirely new model. That still gives the company a few solid years to tweak the current line, which still numbers just into 5 digits produced after being around since 2006. Though still a rarity on the road, the new model is supposed to include upgraded features, such as a V8 turbocharged engine, and a faster 0-60 start acceleration time. Pricing is not expected to drop significantly (if at all), so it’s all but certain that this model will not enter the general consumer price range any time soon. Still, the R8 is built to impress, and despite the fact that the road car version is less record-worthy than its racing counterpart doesn’t take anything away from those who are able to drive these sports cars on the road.