Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cars - Audi R8

Cars - Audi R8

Audi, as part of the Volkswagen Group, wasn't always known for their sports cars. Most Audis are sleek, stylish and fast, but they never really stacked up against legitimate sports cars like models from Ferrari and Porsche. All of this changed in 2006 with Audi's introduction of the R8 V10 road car.

The R8 V10 road car wasn't exactly a new design idea by Audi. In fact, the R8 was nearly a decade old by the time Audi decided it should be produced for basic road ownership. There were two models of Audi R8 built in 1999 for the 24-hour Le Mans, the R8R and R8C. There was also the Audi R8 racecar built in 2000, and there's an Audi R8 Le Mans Concept 12-cylinder diesel in the works.

Audi announced its plans to transform the R8 into a V10 road car in 2005 and had planned on it being available by 2007. The idea was to create something unique and original while not completely abandoning the R8 concept that made Audi's racecars so successful. The production went to one of Audi's subsidiaries, quattro GmbH.

The end result of quattro's involvement was a mid-sized, 2-seater sports coupe with a longitudinally-mounted mid-engine and the patented permanent four-wheel drive system. The R8 is said to be very similar to the Gallardo from Lamborghini, and the V10 engine it uses certainly earns it a top slot in the high performance category.

There have since been other versions of the R8, including the R8 Spider and a V8 version of the automobile. The original R8 V10 by Audi was available in most locations around the globe by the end of 2008, and the car is still in production today.

The similarities found between the R8 V10 and the Lamborghini Gallardo models are present for a reason - Audi AG owns Lamborghini. So they decided to use some of the same parts and design features, including the chassis, floorpan, transmission and the large, powerful engine.

Audi's R8 V10 is also unique in many aspects. The body's aluminum-composite construction is a newer material that provides the ultimate strength with a lighter weight than most other carbon materials. There's also a thorough safety feature on board, called the Bosch ESP 8.0 Electronic Stability Programme. This includes ABS, distribution, regulation, differential and airbag features.

For most car enthusiasts, Audi's R8 is just another in a long line of sleek-looking sports cars without the powerhouse V10 engine. The V10 is basically the same engine used in the super-fast Lamborghini, only with a few improvements.

Audi's R8 V10 uses a 5.2 liter FSI internal combustion engine. It can reach a top speed (electronically controlled) of 200 MPH and can reach 60 MPH in only 3.9 seconds. The V10 produces 516 horsepower and, overall, the R8 costs around $146,000 USD.