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02 October 2023

Thoroughbred horsepower

By Reena Amos Dyas



For fans of Audi cars, the awesome R8 needs no introduction. But for those of you who haven’t been lucky enough to set eyes on one before prepare to be  impressed.

The German car maker has put all its years of expertise building sporty premium-class cars into this racy little number.

At the heart of the R8 is  a powerful 420bhp V8 FSI engine. The unit moves the car from zero to 100kph in just 4.6 seconds, whether with manual gearbox or with R-tronic sequential gearshifting.

The needle hits 200kph after only 14.9 seconds and the engine’s propulsion is only finally held in check by rolling resistance and drag at 301kph.
Bernd Rosenbichler, head of marketing at Audi Middle East, told Emirates Business: “The desirability of the Audi R8 lies in its thoroughbred sports car technology, progressive design and maybe most importantly of all, in its being one of a kind.

“Apart from its design, the R8 unites all of our most important technologies like the mid-engine concept with quattro four-wheel drive with variable torque split, the Aluminium Space Frame body concept that reduces weight and increases rigidity, the R tronic sequential gear box with shift-by-wire technology, the V8 FSI engine with high-revving design and dry sump lubrication and the magnetic ride-damping system to name but a few,” Rosenbichler added.

The Audi R8 has been designed by the same team that designed its namesake the R8, a five-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner.

In a total of 79 starts at venues all over the world, the German racing car has emerged victorious a total of 62 times.

The repeat winner was therefore the ideal role model for the production sports car. There are even design parallels not just in functional terms in the way it cuts its way supremely through the air even at high speeds.
Recalling the time when the Audi R8 was being designed, Bernd Rosenbichler said: “The head designer of the Audi group at the time was Walter de Silva. And I will never forget the moment when we saw the first model of the car during the development.

“It is always different to see a car drawn as a sketch and then see it come to life.”

Apart from the sporty exterior, the interior also offers a luxurious standard of motor racing atmosphere. The impression of quality in the interior is striking: even in the basic specification, the surfaces of the driving area and door trims are meticulously trimmed, with neatly finished decorative seams.

And the scope for customisation is as diverse as the preferences of the Audi R8’s future owners: piano finish, carbon fibre and a wide variety of leathers are just some of the options.

One of the most exciting features on this car are the LED tail lights, with a 3D effect and the optional LED headlights. With its colour temperature of 6,000 kelvin, LED light resembles daylight much more closely than xenon or even halogen light.
Drivers will consequently suffer much less fatigue when driving at night.
The Audi R8 combines its superior performance with both a surprising measure of everyday suitability and an exclusive equipment specification.

It comes ready-equipped for example with a 140 watt audio system, an alarm system, deluxe automatic air-conditioning and the driver information system with integral stopwatch for taking lap times.

The sports seats are trimmed in combined alcantara/leather and the 19-inch wheels are fitted on cast alloy wheels.

The list of optional extras includes extra headlights, the Audi parking system advanced with integral rear-view camera and a B&O sound system with surround sound from twelve high-end speakers with a 465-watt music output.

The car was launched in the Middle East late last year and there is a waiting period of one year if you want to buy one, as it is mostly hand-built.

“The production location in Neckarsulm, Germany has a technical capacity of 25 vehicles a day working in triple shifts,” said Rosenbichler. “As the Audi R8 has such a low production volume, the demand exceeds availability.”

The base price for the manual version has been fixed at Dh415,000 and Dh448,000 for the automatic version. Customisation can take the price up to Dh600,000.