So here it is in all its glory the all new second generation Audi R8 which sticks to an evolutionary but no less than stunning and sharp looking design philosophy.
But underneath the skin Audi have worked hard to keep the R8 free from going on a celebrity style diet. Its lighter by 50kg (1450kg) and now comes with just one naturally aspirated V10 engine split into two power derivatives.
OK so here are the stats, the standard V10 has 532bhp and a peak torque of 540Nm. The 0-62 dash is completed in just 3.5 seconds and the top speed is a claimed 200mph.
The R8 V10 Plus is distinguishable from its lesser powered brethren due the addition of a rear wing. Power is boosted too 602bhp and a maximum torque of 560Nm, the 0-62 dash is completed in 3.2s and the top speed is a whisker over 205mph.
Both variants have cylinder-on-demand technology which shuts down one of the two cylinder banks by deactivating injection and ignition cycles when cruising on a motorway, autobahn, highway. This is designed to enhance fuel efficiency but really as good as this tech is it means little too anything in a supercar.
The new R8’s four-wheel-drive setup features fully variable torque distribution which now allows 100 percent of the power to be sent to either the front or rear wheels. All that power will be fed via an S-Tronic dual clutch 7-speed transmission. The new gearbox has three selectable modes, a coasting feature and launch control. Updated software have improved the speed of the shift actions say Auid.
The R8 will also feature Audi’s Drive Select which offers the driver a choice of four modes comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. Variable adaptively controlled magnetic shock absorbers are available as an option. The un-0ptioned R8 will stick to aluminium double wishbones and steel springs.
The hydraulic steering era is being phased out in favor of an electronic setup, the R8 now features a newly developed electro-mechanical power steering system.
The chassis is formed from a space-frame design, this allows for a stiffer structure which translates into a 40 percent improvement over the first generation.
The interior is what Audi does better than any other car maker, maybe Volvo is the only other one, but the new R8 cockpit looks swish to us.
The instrument binnacle borrows from the TT a fully digital ‘virtual cockpit’ which houses all the ancillary functions such as altering the loudness of the exhaust note. Oh and you also get optional laser headlights, which to us is more like a spec sheet bragging right than anything else.
A third model will also debut at next weeks Geneva Motorshow, the R8 e-tron this fully electric version will have 456bhp and a claimed range of 280miles. Audi says the high voltage lithium-ion bstteries will recharge in as little as 2 hours.
Unsurprisngly Audi UK are already taking orders for a car that has yet to be priced and will only be available later this year. Pricing will start at around £140k GBP.