2010 Audi R8 5.2 V10

2010 Audi R8. Click on the link below for a gallery of images.

time and again, and so repeated full-on stops did not blunt the edge. This example, however, only begins to scratch the surface of the R8 V10’s true potential.

What makes this version so special is its engine. To begin with, the R8’s monster naturally aspirated engine attains the Holy Grail of producing more than 100 horsepower per litre of displacement — 100.9 in this case. Using variable valve timing on each of its four camshafts and direct fuel injection, the 5.2-litre V10 dishes out 525 stallions and 390 pound-feet of torque, 80% of which is ready to run at 1,000 rpm. It also loves to rev, and it does so freely all the way to its 8,700-rpm redline. When doing its thing, the sound it generates is commensurate with its wherewithal — when out for a leisurely loaf only the two outer tailpipes bark, which keeps things to a civil decibel level. Hit the gas and the two inner pipes open. With all four pipes playing along, the roar builds to a delightful crescendo. It is a sweet siren to be sure.

From the six-speed manual transmission, the power reaches the road through massive P235/35R19 front and P295/30R19 rear tires and Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system. In this case, the setup sends 85% of the engine’s power to the rear wheels, which imparts the desired rear-drive feel. If slippage does occur, up to 30% of the drive can be sent forward, which keeps the electronic nanny’s intervention to a minimum. On that note, don’t turn the overseer off. Those foolhardy enough to do so will find out first-hand what separates Michael Schumacher from most mortal drivers — in spite of the quattro system, the R8 still manages to light up all four tires on a fast pull-away.

So, how fast is it? Blindingly quick, but in more ways than those usually used to quantify power and performance. To begin with, using an aluminum spaceframe keeps the mass of the body-in-white to 210 kilograms and the V10 engine only weighs 258 kg. As a result, the entire car tips the scales at just 1,620 kg. All of this means that each of the engine’s 525 pumped stallions has to motivate only 3.09 kg of leather-lined automobile. Now these numbers give rise to some equally impressive performance figures — the R8 V10 romps to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and it flashes though 200 km/h in 12 seconds. Keep the hammer down and, well, pray you get to keep both Ls.