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The Audi R8 e-Tron holds the record for the fastest all-electric production based vehicle to ever lap the Nurburgring, putting up a time of 8:09.099 back in June of this year. Now, a video has been released showing the electric super car making its record setting run at the hands of former DTM racer, Markus Winkelhock.
Audi, along with other manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari, have taken to YouTube recently to send out thanks to each company’s fans and faithfuls, releasing videos of cars doing extraordinary things. Audi has now revealed a follow up, which chronicles the making of its thank you video.
The Audi R8 e-tron is going to be heard, even though its four electric engines run silently. Audi has spent three years developing the right sound for its newest all electric vehicle, and they have released a video showcasing the process behind assigning a sound to the R8 e-tron.
In the video we are introduced to composer Rudolph Halbmeir in the studio, working with his digital audio work space to create the sound that will be emitted from the R8 e-tron. It was essential for Audi to come up with some sort of tone that would accompany the e-tron’s electric engines, as driving with no engine feedback whatsoever would surely be a very unnatural feeling to most drivers.
Imagine ranting online about how much you want do drive a car — and having it come true. For one lucky fan last year, and now more to come, that dream will be a reality.
Audi just announced the relaunch of its #WantAnR8 campaign, which boils down to a contest where R8 fans can tweet about their longing for the chance at having one delivered to them. While the car won’t actually be theirs, the eight winners will be able to choose between taking the car to a track or having it theirs to drive for a day.
Audi will choose two winner after each of the four contest periods, beginning March 20 and running through October 28. Those winners will be chosen by a judging panel and graded on specific criteria. Creativity and originality are worth 34 percent, quality of the conversation that grows from the tweet is worth 33 percent and use and quality of multimedia in the tweet count for, as you hopefully can guess, 33 percent.
Full details on the contest are available on the Audi site.
It’s almost hard to believe that the Audi R8 has been on the market for five years in its current design when so few vehicles seem current past three or four years.
To celebrate its fifth birthday, the German automaker made a video showing off the R8 and all of its variants. To keep things interesting, they teased (ever so slightly) the new R8 at the end of the video. It seems like the refreshed model will be far from a total revision based on the dark shape we saw.
Chances are good that we will see a typical model-cycle refresh with some design changes and an increase in performance. Still, there are rumors that bigger changes will come for the R8 in 2015.
No matter what, the refreshed model is supposed to be released later this year. There are sure to be more details in the future, available here.
Check out the video celebrating five years of the Audi R8 below.
[Source: Audi TV]
Audi‘s expansion plans are materializing to the tune of €13 billion by 2016, heralding growth that enthusiasts are sure to cheer for and that will provide new jobs for German students.
That €13 billion will mostly go towards new technology, but the company is also looking to add about 1,200 new specialists to their team in 2012. That number is in addition to the 3,500 new employees the company added this year. Audi plans to find the fresh blood by offering permanent contracts to students from vocational academies and StEP program (Study and Experience in Practice) students once they finish their training.
Despite bringing so many new hands on deck, the company plans to spend €10.5 billion on new hybrid and electric vehicles.
“To maintain our profitable growth, we will step up investment spending on new products,” said Axel Strotbek, Member of the Board of Management for Finance and Organization at Audi AG.
On the more immediate horizon, the automaker also confirmed new models for 2012: the A8 hybrid that uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder and the next generation A3. Along with that, the company also confirmed the 2013 A6 allroad Quattro and fully electric R8 e-Tron (pictured above).
GALLERY: Audi R8 e-Tron:
Mansory’s extravagant creations are becoming more hit-or-miss in terms of success, but thankfully their rendition of Audi’s R8 Spyder is tolerable if not elegant. Known to sometimes go over the top, we’re surprised by the subtle approach Mansory took with Audi’s exotic convertible supercar.
Of course carbon fiber is incorporated, featured on the new front grille, hood accents, and specific portions on the front, side and rear in order to provide additional aerodynamics. The front lip improves handling and agility while the side skirts lead air smoothly to the rear spoiler. The rear bumper and diffuser are also new from Mansory, transforming the R8 without actually ruining it.
Under the hood, the 5.2L V10 gets a sport air filter and exhaust system bringing peak horsepower to 552-hp and torque to 406 lb-ft. Mansory also outfitted the R8 Spyder with their own wheels, staggering a 20×8.5-inch pairing with a 20×11-inch pairing in the rear. New springs also gives the R8 Spyder a lowered stance.
As usual, Mansory offers custom interior modifications from personalized floormats to custom leather upholstery and carbon trim. Aluminum illuminated door sills, pedals and footrests are also available.
No pricing was announced for Mansory’s R8 Spyder tuning program.
GALLERY: Mansory Audi R8 Spyder
It’s hard to believe Audi was able to improve their highly successful R8 LMS GT3 race car, but they’ve just announced that the R8 LMS ultra will be launched in 2012, with deliveries starting in March. Current R8 LMS customers have won a combined 115 races and 12 national and international titles in just three years.
So where and how did Audi improve the R8 LMS for their ultra model? They started with new doors made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic and high-energy absorbing crash foams. There is also a new PS1 safety seat developed by Audi offering plenty of extra protection. The transmission was updated to provide additional longevity during endurance races.
To enhance an already impressive powerplant, Audi maximized the 5.2L V10 to 570-hp thanks to a new exhaust system with race-spec catalytic converters. The engine is still based on the production motor produced at Audi’s plant and customers have reported easily hitting over 12,000-miles on their motors with no issues.
For cooling enhancements, Audi gave the car a larger engine oil cooler, transmission fluid cooler, and an oil cooler for the steering hydraulics was relocated to the vehicle’s mid-section from the front of the previous car.
Front wheel widths have been upsized to 12-inch sizes instead of 11-inches (for a wider track) and as of next season Michelin will be offering wider tires to allow for more consistent lap times. Furthermore, aerodynamic improvements were made throughout the LMS ultra including a wider front hood, and a new front plate with optimized diffusion is under the front end.
The Audi R8 LMS ultra comes in at a hefty $446,890 plus VAT based on today’s conversion rates.
GALLERY: Audi R8 LMS Ultra
Porsche‘s new supercar, targeted squarely at the Ferrari 458, might be borrowing its underpinnings from the next-gen Audi R8.
The German sports car manufacturer is already well on its way to developing the part-carbon fiber car, though what they have so far borrows heavily from Audi. It’s not something Porsche is happy about, but Volkswagen, their parent company, sees sharing the underpinnings of the R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo as an easy way to save costs.
Despite corporate orders preference, Porsche may actually delay releasing its car until the 2020s in order to build it with a bespoke chassis. If they decide to adopt the R8 chassis, it would mean their new car could be on the market next to the second generation R8, versus hitting the market beside the third generation with custom underpinning.
With Bugatti allowing its supercar Veyron to be ordered with virtually an infinite number of color combinations, it’s no surprise that other exotic car manufacturers are getting into the business of letting customers personalize their vehicles as well. Audi Exclusive is the newest addition to the bandwagon, allowing customers to choose their exterior color, side-blade color, and a bunch of unique interior trims and color combinations.
Most R8 owners will probably love the idea of being able to personalize the color combinations of the interior, from a variety of leather finishes and contrasting stitching shades. Take a look through the gallery below, of vehicles already built using the new Audi Exclusive program.
GALLERY: Audi Exclusive R8 Configurations
As much as we love Audi‘s new R8 Spyder, there is something wrong with it – the potential to catch on fire! Not to worry, however, as Audi has issues a recall on all 920 R8 Spyders dating from 2011 and 2012.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the fuel supply line could rub against the heat shield in the engine compartment leading to a small fuel leak, which could eventually cause a fire.
This is certainly not the news any R8 owner wants to hear, especially after paying a seriously hefty fee for such an awesome vehicle. The first complaint was filed on June 6th, when the owner could smell fuel after refilling his Spyder. Those that own a 2011-2012 R8 Spyder should contact Audi at 1-800-822-2834 to have the fuel line inspected and replaced if need be. The last thing we want to hear about are burnt down R8 Spyders on the side of the road.