The R8 is a two-door, mid-engine sports car that was launched in 2006 by the German car manufacturer Audi. The Audi R8 is based on the Lamborghini Gallardo (an arrangement that was possible because Audi and Lamborghini are both owned by Volkswagen). The sports car was named after the Audi R8 race car that had been used in Le Mans racing series. It is available in both coupe and Spyder (convertible) versions.
The Audi R8 features Audi’s exclusive permanent quattro all-wheel-drive system, which helps it achieve its reputation for good handling. The coupe’s initial release came with a 4.2 liter 32-valve V8 FSI engine, good for 420 horsepower. This engine was mated to either Audi’s R-tronic semi-automatic transmission or a six-speed manual sourced from Lamborghini. The same engine was used when the Spyder model was announced in 2011, but Audi also added another engine option to both the coupe and the Spyder, a 5.2 liter V10 paired to an R-tronic sequential manual transmission. Several limited edition models and concept cars based on the R8 have also made appearances since its initial release.
Several styling cues and other features make the Audi R8 stand out from a crowd. Since it was inspired by a true, successful race car, it is strong and relatively lightweight, enabling good speed and handling on the street. A lot of the car’s chassis and floor pan are shared with the Lamborghini Gallardo, and they also share some other components, since as door handle parts and the aforementioned drivetrain elements. It is based on a lightweight aluminum frame, and features lots of carbon fiber components, since the material is known for adding strength while saving pounds. However, the Gallardo is Italian, and the R8, like all other Audis, is unmistakably German in styling. Many of the carbon fiber elements are visible throughout the car’s exterior, helping to give the car a distinctive and sporty look, although R8 buyers can opt to have much of the carbon fiber painted in the car’s body color, if the shimmery gray appearance of the woven carbon fiber is not to their taste. The R8 is also one of the cars that helped make the LED headlight a distinctive style element of the entire Audi lineup. These lights also help illuminate the engine visible through the rear hatch. The interior of the R8 was not overlooked, either. The cabin is finished in high end leathers and metals, and passengers who don’t want to listen to the growl of the engine (for whatever reason) can instead rock out to the optional Bang & Olufsen stereo.