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Audi Previews the R8 Coupe Ahead of Its Geneva Debut

February 27, 2015

Audi will premiere its second-generation R8 coupe at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show next week, but the luxury brand decided to give people a glimpse (and more details) a few days before the big reveal.

The Four Rings dubbed the R8 its most powerful production car to date. It is probably also the most improved—the coupe is a much better version of the first-generation model. The team went back to the drawing board when it made the new R8 and came up with a lighter, faster and more taut vehicle. However, the placement of the engine and its four-wheel-drive system remain unchanged.

Audi offers the new R8 with only one engine option (the 5.2-liter V10), but with two different versions. The standard engine generates 540 horsepower and 398.3 pounds-feet of torque. It accelerates from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 200.7 miles per hour. Meanwhile, the range-topping variant is comparatively more powerful: it puts out 610 horsepower and 413 pounds-feet of torque. It goes from 0 to 62 miles per hour in only 3.2 seconds, headed to a maximum speed of 205.1 miles per hour.

Both versions are paired with a seven-speed S tronic transmission.

The new Audi R8 owes its improved performance partly to its reduced weight. The latest model weighs about 110.2 pounds less than the previous one. It has a dry weight of 3,205.5 pounds, an impressive figure considering all the equipment the vehicle carries. The lightweight design is due to the Audi Space Frame (ASF)—the Volkswagen AG-owned automaker built the body shell with carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), making it weigh 15 percent less than its predecessor.

The use of CFRP components not only made for a lighter structure, but also a more rigid one. Audi claims that the new R8’s body shell is about 40 percent more rigid.

As expected, the new R8 features advanced technology. Aside from the virtual cockpit complete with a 12.3-inch screen, the car also boasts laser lights along with the standard LED headlights.

The all-new Audi R8 will go on sale in Europe this summer. The one with the 540-horsepower R8 V10 will have a sticker price of 165,000 euros (about $187,000) while the car powered by the 610-horsepower engine starts at 187,400 euros (approximately $213,000). Interested buyers in the United States would have to wait a little longer for the R8’s arrival, as the car is expected to be sold stateside in the second half of the 2016 as a 2017 model.

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