2014 Audi R8 will shed 200 pounds and get a carbon-aluminum structure

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 18, 2011

It’s not a secret anymore that a new Audi R8 is set to make its debut in 2014 but what we didn’t know is that the second generation of the well-known supercar will lose 200 pounds. Apparently, Audi will rely on a smart mix of of aluminum and carbon fiber to build the structure of the car.

According to R&D boss Michael Dick, the German manufacturer wants to achieve the maximum weight reduction and rigidity. Although the new structure will be more expensive, the new materials will help Audi obtain an important weight reduction comparing it with a monocoque.

The weight reduction of the engine is still discussed but the new car could receive a V8 engine delivering over 500 hp, featuring two turbochargers and a cylinder deactivation function.

The answer could be the all-new 4.0 TFSI engine seen on the S6, S6 Avant, S7 Sportback and S8. This engine delivers between 309 kW (420 hp) and 382 kW (520 hp) and could have up to 650 Nm (479.42 lb-ft) of torque. A hybrid version of the R8 is ruled out for the moment as the batteries will make the car very heavy!

All it takes is one look and it is clear why the R8 continues to lead Audi’s many offerings. It has a crouched and wide road stance and this is because of its dimension having its length at 14.57 feet (4.44 meters) and width at 6.23 feet (1.90 meters). Height is around 4.10 feet (1.25 meters), a little higher when compared to the Spyder, which stands at 4.07 feet (1.24 meters). With the addition of new details plus the use of sharp lines to frame its sculpturally arched surfaces, it results in this high-performance sports car with a look that is more distinct and sharper.

Looking at the front end, it is obvious that the bumpers have been redesigned. However what is sure to catch one’s eye is the single frame grille whose top corners have been narrowed. While finished in black with high gloss, the V10 version has their struts decorated with the finest of chrome strips.

Although the four rings that symbolize the brand are not seen on the grille, they are instead placed on its hood. Still, all versions of the R8 will have the black air intakes that allow air to be channelled directly to the radiator while the brakes will have the three crossbars.

In terms of design, there is the loop, a wrap-around curve, which links the front and rear of the R8 with the sides and wheel wells. To show that this is truly a mid-engine vehicle, its cabin has been positioned far to its front. Similar to the Coupé, the air intakes are placed just in front of its rear wheels, also known as sideblades, and shows where the engine is placed. The sideblades on the right have the gas cap which is made of solid aluminum.

For the R8 Spyder though, instead of sideblades, it has larger air intakes which have been sculpted on the sides. In addition, all versions will be equipped with the LED headlights as standard. This is the same technology that the brand presented when it first came out with the R8 years ago, before any automaker had done so.

The new R8 comes with a new set-up wherein a special control unit is able to convert the strip-like daytime running lights and become the turn signals. Meanwhile the LEDs that are utilized for both the high beams and the low beams are placed below and above its daytime running lights.

Its headlights on the other hand have a static turning light. For the R8, Audi shared that it will be offering as an option a front splitter made up of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. This splitter though is fitted as standard with the R8 V10. While the air intakes have a matt Titanium Gray, the subtle improvements done to the single frame grille show why this top model leads the pack.

Topics: audi, audi r8, supercar

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