The 2013 Qatar Motor Show, taking place from January 29th to February 2nd at the Doha Exhibition Centre in West Bay, once again served as a stage for Audi’s latest innovations. Representative of an entire new R8 model lineup, Audi revealed the Audi R8 V10 Spyder as a Middle East premiere. The high-performance sports car is now more dynamic than ever, with a new S tronic transmission and new features on the exterior, in the cabin and for the brakes. Also on the stand were the customer favorites Audi Q3, Q5 and Q7 - Audi’s SUV range – as well as the sports sedans Audi S6 and S8.
Having appointed a new dealer for the State of Qatar only recently, Audi also took the opportunity to update visitors on its new showroom and service development plans. During the official press conference Benny Lim, General Manager of Q-Auto – the official Audi dealer for Qatar, told Trevor Hill, Audi Middle East’s newly appointed Managing Director: “Our new Service Center in the Industrial Area and new Audi Showroom on Salwa Road will open in the second half of this year and we have further plans to expand our infrastructure in the future. It is imperative for us to deliver on and exceed our customers’ expectations of an Audi ownership experience.”
The R8 is the sporty spearhead of the Audi model lineup. The reshuffled R8 range comprises two body styles – Coupé and Spyder – and three engines. The standard sprint times for both models equipped with the new seven-speed S tronic have improved by 0.3 seconds while fuel consumption has been reduced by as much as 0.9 liters per 100 km.
The eight-cylinder engine powering the Audi R8 V8 delivers 430 hp and 430 Nm of torque. In combination with the seven-speed S tronic, it accelerates the R8 Coupé from zero to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 300 km/h. The Audi R8 V10 with the S tronic completes the standard sprint in 3.6 seconds and has a top speed of 314 km/h. The ten-cylinder engine produces 525 hp and delivers 530 Nm of torque to the crankshaft. At the top of the model range is the new R8 V10 plus with 550 hp and 540 Nm of torque. Equipped with the S tronic, it accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 317 km/h. The new top model is only available as a Coupé.
The new seven-speed S tronic replaces the previously used R tronic as a standard in all V10 models (option for V8 models). The fast-shifting dual-clutch transmission features a launch control function that provides optimal traction when starting. Power is delivered to the road via the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with a rear-axle bias. The adaptive damping system Audi magnetic ride (standard in the R8 V10) adapts the response of the shock absorbers to the requirements of the driver and the road.
Audi is demonstrating its expertise in ultra lightweight construction technology with the updated R8. The R8 V8 with the six-speed manual gearbox (without a driver) tips the scales at just 1,560 kilograms. The Audi engineers have reduced the weight of the top model by roughly 50 kilograms. The aluminum Audi Space Frame body weighs just 210 kilograms (216 kg for the R8 Spyder), roughly 40 percent less than a comparable steel structure.
The interior and exterior design has been honed ever further. The restructured all-LED headlights and rear lights are standard with all models. The redesigned Singleframe grille, the diffuser and the large, round tailpipes are the most eye-catching new features. The rear lights of all models include dynamic LED turn signals that run from the inside out in the direction in which the driver wants to turn, a worldwide first from Audi. The diffuser of the R8 V10 plus and many bolt-on body parts of the R8 Spyder and R8 V10 plus are made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP). CFRP is also used in the interior of the top model.
The updated Audi R8, which is built in in Neckarsulm, Germany, is scheduled to launch in the Middle East in the second quarter of 2013. The base price in the GCC is USD 110,236 for the R8 V8 with manual transmission.