There's no disputing that the current Audi R8 is already an exceptional sports car. The combination of its stunning appearance, outstanding performance and general livability are plenty to be proud of, but the folks in Ingolstadt weren't quite satisfied. As a result, they've produced the 2010 Audi R8 5.2 FSI - or simply put, a ten-cylinder R8.
By and large, the most significant change lies with the 5.2-liter V-10 lurking behind the cabin. Though strikingly similar to the S8's motor (itself a de-tuned version of the Lamborghini Gallardo's ten-cylinder power plant), Audi's fitted it with direct injection and a dry-sump oil system exclusively for service in the R8.
The engine now produces 525 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, which is reportedly more than enough to move the aluminum-bodied coupe from 0-60 mph in under four seconds and to a top speed of 196 mph. As with the V-8 car, the R8 5.2 FSI Quattro makes use of Audi's legendary all-wheel-drive system, coupled to either a six-speed manual or the R tronic dual-clutch gearbox.
The R8 V-10 wears exclusive 10-spoke 19-inch wheels that feature a unique Y design. It will come with magnetic ride control as standard equipment, and the suspension will be even more tuned for performance than the standard R8. To bring the car to a halt, the brake system was beefed up as well. Eight-piston calipers reside in the front, four-piston calipers stop in back, and the 15-inch front and 14-inch rear disks are ventilated and perforated to ensure unimpeded heat transfer. Those in need of even more stopping power can opt for a lightweight ceramic brake system.
Styling changes are subtle. Up front, the air inlets and chin spoiler have been painted in high-gloss black and the grilles feature two fewer cross braces. Perhaps more noticeable, though are the standard all-LED headlights: Audi will be the world's first automaker to use LEDs for high beams, low beams, daytime running lights, and turn signals.
Along the sides, the car's skirts have been lengthened and those sexy sideblades are now slightly longer, which helps conceal additional cooling vents for the hot V-10. The rear fascia, in a nod to the R8's front, also receives gloss black highlights and two fewer cross braces. This, along with two large oval tailpipes in place of the V-8's four exhaust tips, helps further clean up the R8's posterior.
If those are subtle changes, so too are those made inside. Audi hasn't added any radical content to the R8 V-10's cabin, but it will be equipped with heated seats, navigation, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, automatic climate control, and alarm system as standard equipment.
While Audi will officially debut the R8 5.2 FSI Quattro at the 2009 North American International Auto Show this coming January, Audi hasn't announced if the ten-cylinder R8 will officially make its way stateside. We do know that production examples will arrive in Germany in the spring of 2009, and will sticker at approximately € 140,000.
To read more about the 2010 Audi R8 5.2 FSI Quattro, go to our 2009 Detroit auto show blogs coverage. All the latest blogs from the Editors of Automobile Magazine can be found HERE. We've got our whole staff wandering the floor at Cobo Hall bringing back live photos and more information about all the new debuts from Detroit.
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