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Audi Goes Playful With Its 2008 R8 Supercar

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Audi R8

Audi Goes Playful With Its 2008 R8 Supercar

Anthony Fontanelle
August 17, 2007

Audi AG earlier announced pricing for its R8 supercar. At $139,900, the German automaker expects more aficionados will be attracted to its pricing. Aside from the price, one thing that could pull shoppers closer is the fact that the automaker has entertained playful modifications to closely compete with the Porsche 911.

The R8, unveiled last fall and set to arrive in showrooms next month as a 2008 model, has tickled the excitement of aficionados with nifty new surprises. The supercar is going to be quite something.

No fewer than four Audi employees escorted the 2008 Audi R8 to the Los Angeles Times' garage a few weeks ago, a veritable task force of handlers to introduce me to the company's new six-figure, mid-engine supercar, TransWorldNews reported.

TransWorldNews continued: “Once they arrived, there wasn't much for them to do but stand around and Armor-All their suit lapels. Despite the R8's evident exoticism, the car is low, wide and mirthless, its gimlet eyes fixing you with white-hot LEDs like it was brooding on ways to wreck your marriage, the car required no special instructions. The Cavalli-suited entourage underscores the fact that the R8 - certainly one of the finest mid-engine sports cars ever built - is not about posting quick lap times or eating into the Porsche 911's market share, though it will do both to a bloody fare-thee-well.”

“Truth be told, most surprises about the R8 were blown long ago. Audi revealed the car's specs to coincide with that Paris unveiling. Only the luckier automotive journalists have had a chance to drive the R8, so there's still the mystery of whether it will be a worthy competitor for other low-six-figure luxo sportsters such as the Porsche 911 Turbo and Aston Martin V8 Vantage,” said Chris Chase of CanWest News Service.

Critics say that the R8 is comprehensively engineered, seductively styled, and flawlessly executed. There were no gear-shifting paddles attached to the flat-bottomed steering wheel, no hydraulics to elevate the front end as there are in the Lamborghini Murcielago. Also, there were no wing-setting launch sequence as in the Bugatti Veyron, but the magnet is there. And that pull lingers.

The 2008 Audi R8 is equipped with a 4.2-litre V8 that generates 420bhp, a choice of six-speed manual transmission or a sequential manual Audi calls R-tronic, and fabulous Audi accessories. The German automaker claims 4.6 seconds to reach 100 km/h and a top speed of 301 km/h. In Canada, the supercar will come standard with 19-inch wheels and tires, while 18-inchers will be standard in the United States and overseas markets.

For 2009, a more powerful engine variant that uses a 570-hp 5.2 L V10, an enlarged version of the Lamborghini Gallardo's engine and already featured in the Audi S8, is expected to be incorporated to the R8. But this was not confirmed by the automaker.

Currently, the automaker is in the process of developing a new turbocharged 5.2 L V10 engine for the future Audi RS6. And there is a strong possibility that this powerful engine will make its way into the R8.

Source:  Amazines.com

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