Audi is aiming towards Lamborghini territory with the presentation of a top-of-the-line R8 model that's equipped with what else, but the Gallardo's 5.2-liter FSI engine. Just to keep the family balance, in the R8 the V10 powerhouse churns out 525HP at 8,000 rpm and 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) of torque at 6,500 rpm in European-spec form. That's compared to the latest Gallardo LP560-4's 560HP. According to the German firm, the R8 V10's mid-engine design provides an ideal axle load distribution of 44 to 56 percent.
When equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, the R8 5.2 FSI quattro goes from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.9 seconds. In the version with the sequentially shifting R tronic it reaches 200 km/h (124.27 mph) in another 8.1 seconds. As for the car's top speed, the R8 5.2 FSI won't stop until it reaches 316 km/h (196 mph). Not that any potential buyers will actually care, but the R8 V10 with R tronic gets by on an average of 13.7 liters per 100 km (17.17 US mpg).
The car comes equipped with Audi's magnetic ride system which adapts the characteristics of the suspension in milliseconds to the nature of the road surface and to the driving style as standard. Deceleration is provided by eight brake pistons at the front and four at the rear grasp the brake disks, which are ventilated and perforated. The brake disks on the front axle have a diameter of 380 millimeters (15 in); the rear discs span 356 millimeters (14 in). Optionally, there's also a ceramic brake system available.
On the outside, the Audi R8 V10 is distinguished by a few subtle styling changes such as the chrome finish grille, the all-LED headlights, the new rear bumper that incorporates a different diffuser and two large exhaust pipes, and the 10-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels. Tire sizes are 235/35 front and 295/30 rear. Other unique details include the accentuated sideblades and the matt aluminum exhaust grilles at the rear windows.
The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro will be rolled out in Germany in the second quarter of 2009 at a basic price of €142,400 or with the current exchange rates, $183,700.