Apex predators

The new Audi R8 models are on their way Down Under.

Audi R8 Coupé and R8 Spyder in both V10 RWD and quattro are set to arrive in Australia next month.

23 June, 2020


Now the new models are on their way to Australia, set to be available in dealerships from late next month

It takes just 3.2 seconds for the Audi R8 V10 performance quattro to hit 100km/h from a standing start. By the time most modern cars have completed the same sprint, the R8 would be well on the way to its top speed of 330km/h – but those sorts of speeds would of course require a race track or even a runway if you happened to have one handy.

Welcome to the rarified world of the brand’s multi-award winning supercar – or more accurately supercars given that the R8 is available both as a Coupé and Spyder and with this latest incarnation, in both quattro and rear-wheel drive.

Since its first appearance as a design study in 2003 and then as a production model in 2006, the Audi R8 has represented the very pinnacle of the brand’s performance, engineering and design. An apex predator in every respect, and one that was instantly at home in the elite ranks of the world’s most desirable high-performance models.

Now the new models are on their way to Australia, set to be available in dealerships from late next month, bringing with them another mouth-watering taste of the exotic, high-performance world that supercars inhabit. 

There’s no confusing the R8 models with anything else on the road (or track), the new razor-sharp styling true to the original designs but completely contemporary in execution. Whether you’re a Coupé or a Spyder driver is purely a matter of personal choice with both variants featuring striking design. 

Enormous 20-inch wheels are standard across all models, with the two RWD variants featuring a new EVO design that house the 18-inch steel ‘wave’ disc brakes, clamped by red calipers all around, with eight-pistons at the front and four at the rear. 

The quattro performance models use specially developed, lightweight milled wheels with standard Ceramic brakes (which weigh 11kg less than steel) measure 19-inches in diameter, with six-piston calipers at the front and four at the rear. The calipers can be ordered in a choice of anthracite, red or blue at no additional cost.

LED headlights and taillights with dynamic indicators go without saying and the R8 models are of course equipped with Audi laser light technology which lights up the road half a kilometre ahead.

Once again these new models remain true to their past in that they offer an extraordinary versatility that has always set the R8 models apart. Here is a car that is as comfortable on the absolute limit at a race track, as it is tooling through city traffic or straightening out twisting mountain roads. Smooth, refined and responsive in any environment – although undoubtedly most exciting and rewarding demonstrating their incredible capabilities on a track.

“The R8’s strength has always been its all-round versatility to adapt to its surroundings,” says Paul Sansom, Managing Director of Audi Australia.

“On the racetrack, on sweeping country roads, or in everyday urban traffic. Such depth of ability is truly unique to the contemporary legend that is the Audi R8.”

Once again these new models remain true to their past in that they offer an extraordinary versatility that has always set the R8 models apart

These are blindingly fast times, but life is not a drag race, and straight-line speed – as impressive as it is – is just one part of the performance whole where the R8 is concerned

High-performance aficionados will be faced with a choice this time around as the previously limited edition Rear Wheel Series R8 (RWS) now forms a permanent part of the R8 family. Both the Coupé and Spyder are available with rear-wheel drive (definitely one for the purists) or with Audi’s superb quattro all-wheel drive giving each their own distinct performance character. The new R8 Coupé V10 RWD will land from $295,000* with the R8 Spyder V10 RWD priced at $316,500*, while the R8 Coupé and Spyder V10 performance quattro models will be priced at $395,000* and $416,500* respectively.

Despite their styling and drive delivery differences, all models use the celebrated 5.2-litre FSI V10 engine which has been honed to the finest of edges through its use in the Audi Sport customer racing program and in its duty in the all-conquering Audi R8 LMS GT3 race cars. In the R8 V10 RWD models the engine delivers 397kW and 540Nm, while in the V10 performance quattro models, those figures increase to 449kW and 560Nm.

In the real world these figures translate to the aforementioned 3.2 seconds for the R8 Coupe V10 performance quattro to hit 100km/h or 3.3 seconds for the R8 Spyder V10 performance quattro to do likewise.

The R8 Coupé V10 RWD sees off the sprint in just 3.7 seconds and again, the Spyder version adds just 0.1 seconds. These are blindingly fast times, but life is not a drag race, and straight-line speed – as impressive as it is – is just one part of the performance whole where the R8 is concerned. Wide bodies with low centres of gravity, with the superior weight distribution and mid-mounted engine combine to enhance vehicle balance and handling to near magical levels. 

Both utilise the lightening-fast seven-speed S tronic transmission, but while the RWD models accentuate the rear-drive characteristics, the quattro all-wheel drive system in the new Audi R8 V10 performance quattro distributes torque between the front and rear wheels. This front-to-rear torque transfer is fully variable, depending on Audi drive select and the driving conditions. 

The chassis of the new R8, made up of the lightweight Audi Space Frame (ASF) concept weighs in at just 200kg, yet its combination of aluminium and carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) to form the basis of the occupant cell offers extraordinary strength despite its low weight. Indeed, overall, both the R8 RWD Coupe and R8 V10 performance quattro weigh only 1595kg. 

Aerodynamics too have been refined, with a near fully-sealed underbody minimising drag, with a rear diffuser and fixed spoiler combination on the V10 performance quattro Coupé.

But while there’s no doubting the performance prowess of the R8 models, unlike many in the supercar ranks, there is nothing ‘stripped down’ or spartan in the levels of equipment, fit or finish off these cars. From the 550 watt Bang & Olufsen sound system to the Audi virtual cockpit and wireless smartphone charger, the R8s are pure luxury vehicles. The RWD features beautiful R8 sports seats upholstered in Fine Nappa leather with contrasting stitching, featuring full electric and pneumatic adjustment. Indeed fine Nappa leather is used throughout the clean, elegant interior, offset with piano black gloss inlays. 

Unlike many in the supercar ranks, there is nothing ‘stripped down’ or spartan in the levels of equipment, fit or finish off these cars

Every conceivable luxury item resides within the R8 models

Every conceivable luxury item resides within the R8, with everything from rear-view camera with parking system plus, cruise control, convenience key, electric/folding/heated mirrors and heated seats all standard equipment. Even anti-theft wheel bolts and alarm are standard on the R8 RWD. 

In addition to this, the R8 V10 performance quattro adds an exclusive gloss carbon exterior styling package, from front-to-rear including the side blades, and the gloss carbon continues throughout the cabin inlays. The R8 bucket seats are also in Fine Nappa leather, with a black Alcantara headlining. 

Slip into one of the Spyder variants and an electro-hydraulic drive allows you to transform the car from fixed roof to pure convertible in just 20 seconds and at speeds of up to 50km/h with just the touch of a button. Once retracted, the lightweight, fully-insulated soft top is neatly stowed away, giving the R8 Spyder a literal dual personality.

There’s not an area where the new R8 doesn’t impress – from its stunning design and finish, to its absolutely scintillating performance and impeccable manners. That a car can deliver at the very top of the performance scale and still be driven in everyday traffic is nothing short of extraordinary, but that has been the equation at the very heart of the Audi R8 since its inception –  and the new models only build on that impressive promise.

Learn more about the Audi R8 models at audi.com.au

(*Manufacturer List Pricing [MLP] – excludes dealer delivery and government statutory charges)