A few weeks ago, at the Paris Auto Show, Audi unveiled its long-awaited Porsche 911-fighter in the R8. Due to ship (in 8-cylinder form) during the first half of 2007, the R8 is an aluminum bodied, mid-engined, four-wheel-drive (Quattro), two-seater. The car will initially be available with Audi’s 4.2l V-8 engine from the RS4. It’ll generate an impressive, naturally-aspirated 420hp and move the R8 from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds.
Sometime after the 8-Cylinder R8 ships, Audi will drop a slightly de-tuned version of the Lamborghini Gallardo 10-cylinder engine in this bad boy (same engine as in Audi’s S6 and S8). That engine will produce about 500hp. The R8 weighs only 3400 pounds making the power-to-weight ratio for either engine a fairly high number.
Several auto magazines are claiming that Audi’s 0-60 numbers are waaay conservative given the fact that the company’s RS4 with the same 8-cylinder engine accelerates from 0-60 in the same time and weighs a lot more.
The important point here seems to be that the R8 should be direct competition for the venerable Porsche 911. While there are other cars that compete with the 911, this will be the first one similarly priced – although one might claim that the Corvette competes nicely with the 911 for much less money – it’s complicated . . .
The 8-cylinder R8 should be priced about the same as a standard 911 and the Lambo-motivated R8 should go for Porsche Turbo kinda money.
The car looks very cool. It’ll be fun to watch it all unfold from the sidelines.
BTW – Audi has a great Flash-driven site showing the car here.