For a company associated heavily with aluminum construction, why does Audi involve themselves with iron? Part of the first two Iron Man films adapted from the Marvel comic book franchise, the premium car company happily lent its trendy products. Making several cameo appearances, Audi vehicles contributed to the style of the movies (note Iron Man’s eyes when looking at the headlamps of an Audi car). Robert Downey Jr’s character Tony Stark drove a coupe as well as the Spyder variant of the Audi R8 in Iron Man and Iron Man 2. The Audi A8 sedan and Q7 crossover also received screen time during the action-adventure series. The third movie in the current blockbuster Iron Man series will again have Audi products on display.
Serving as the all-wheel drive chariot for high-energy, fictional billionaire Tony Stark will be a white Audi R8 e-tron supercar. In addition, Stark‘s girlfriend Virginia “Pepper” Potts (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) is receiving her own set of Audi quattro wheels. Potts will be seen driving an Audi S7 Sportback in the 2013 film.
First applied to the Audi R8 in 2010, the e-tron powerplant layout pitched the company’s first experiment in production-oriented electric car. Premiering in 2009 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the R8 e-tron was a 313-horsepower concept was heavily Audi. Even Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive in a zero-emissions car was present in an all-electric setup. While the electric powerplant is now as powerful as a conventional 4.2 liter V8-powered R8, the Audi R8 e-tron’s roughly 1,000-pound weight reduction provided compensation. Acceleration of the R8 e-tron from 0 to 62 miles per hour was estimated at 4.8 seconds.
Since introduction, the Audi R8 e-tron supercar could be seen under evaluation at places including the Nurburgring. Despite optimism and excitement to compare an all-electric Audi supercar, limited production originally planned for the R8 e-tron for late 2012 is now indefinitely delayed. An appearance in Iron Man 3 at least preserves some hope that the e-tron philosophy hasn’t been abandoned by Audi. Perhaps, if Tony Stark lent Audi the power capacity of an arc reactor, the future of an R8 e-tron sports car would reach fruition.
In addition to the Audi R8 e-tron, the Marvel universe revolving around Iron Man already brought a concept car to fictional streets. In the 2012 blockbuster “The Avengers”, a yet-to-be publicly released Acura NSX convertible appeared. Decked out in a red resembling part of Iron Man’s colour scheme, Tony Stark was seen giving Dr. Banner (A.K.A. The Hulk) a ride following their battle to save the world.
The return of Audi’s Marvel universe appearance in Iron Man 3 is quickly approaching. United States release of the highly-anticipated film is May 3rd.
Spoiler Alert: One excerpt of the recent Iron Man 3 trailer shows the untimely demise of an Audi R8 when Stark’s mansion is under attack. At the 1-minute, 31-second mark of the trailer, the white Audi R8 e-tron is seen falling with other debris. If harm simply comes to that car as result of an evil force, that is reason enough for Iron Man to send some repulsor blasts flying.
Information, photo and video source: Audi AG, Marvel
A vehicle assembled at a maximum production run of 20-30 cars per day, the exotic mystique of the Audi R8 quattro supercar could sell itself on rarity. However, after five years of annual production capacity averaging 3,800 vehicles, the Audi halo car is now a bit less exclusive. For the higher social crowd that prefers to be noticed as unique individuals, performance and style tuner sources outside of the Audi factory can restore the unique allure of the favoured supercar.
TC Concepts R8 Toxique
A recent addition to the world of modified Audi R8s, the direction TC Concepts took with the German supercar aimed at creating a distinct automotive identity at an approachable price. Helping to keep customers from completely overextending their budgets, the TC Concepts R8 Toxique is created from the 4.2 liter V-8 version of the Audi R8 Coupe. Without involving any extraordinary engine enhancements other than a high-performance air filter and a reconfiguration of the engine electronics, TC Concepts positioned the bulk of the handiwork on the styling of the Audi R8.
Casting the supercar in their own image, the tuner group of TC Concepts dedicated themselves around the R8 supercar’s front end as well as the side panels. Given a racier look, the TC Concepts R8 Toxique’s enlarged front air intakes features recessed black mesh guarding. Subtracting the R8 Coupe’s body colour-contrasting side panels, a sleeker surfacing for the R8 Toxique plays host to more aggressive air openings reminiscent of the R8 Spyder. Exterior touches such as a fixed carbon fiber rear wing and TC Concepts Parle 7-spoke wheels completes the outer modification setting up the bewilderment of the R8 Toxique’s interior. Driver and passenger inside the TC Concepts R8 Toxique cabin will find a handsome use of Alcantara as well as carbon fiber surrounding them as they nestle into custom Bentley Beluga-Nero leather seats.
EDO Competition Audi R8
Furnishing the premium automotive marketplace with greater vehicle personalization, EDO Competition larger and growing portfolio of represented brands include BMW, Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari. EDO Competition also wrenches up the Audi R8 with some quaint but nonetheless mentionable modifications. Given a refined aerodynamic form on the outside through the generous application of carbon fiber, the EDO Competition Audi R8 increased downforce potential more effectively plants the supercar. Offering two sets of sport wheels, the Edo Competition Audi R8 can be fitted with either 19-inch or 20-inch forged stainless steel/aluminum rims. If Audi R8 owners desire an alternative from the metallic look, customers can request their selected EDO Competition sport wheels to be painted to a custom colour.
A modest power increase is acquired on the Edo Competition Audi R8 through the addition of lighter weight, sportier sounding stainless exhaust. Bumping horsepower from the 4.2 liter FSI engine to 442, the EDO Competition exhaust reduces the Audi R8’s total weight by 18 pounds.
STaSIS Audi R8 V-10 Challenge Extreme Edition
Almost $56,000 cost on top of the purchase price of the V-10 powered Audi R8, the American-based firm STaSIS unlocks what could be the maximum street-legal potential of the German supercar with the Challenge Extreme Edition.
Ultimately, the presentation of the STaSIS Audi R8 V-10 Challenge Extreme Edition initially pulls off the attitude of a ‘street sleeper’ as little more than Anthracite ultra-lightweight forged aluminum wheels define the vehicle as a modified creation. In the engine bay is where STaSIS feeds new life into the Audi R8. Boosting the 5.2 FSI engine, a 7.5 PSI Eaton / Magnusson TVS 2300 supercharger and CNC machined intake plenum is a performance keys that elevates horsepower to 710 horsepower. Promising 0 to 60-mile per hour acceleration times in just 3.1 seconds, the STaSIS Audi R8 V-10 Challenge Extreme Edition is one of the fastest launching examples of Audi’s finest sports car creation.
A more responsive suspension along with an improved braking system allows the STaSIS Audi R8 V-10 Challenge Extreme Edition to move with an increased confidence. Shown as lateral and brake acceleration both exceed 1.0 G, the STaSIS R8 V-10 Challenge Extreme Edition performance is beyond Audi factory specifications for the stock R8. Despite stretching the performance of the Audi R8, STaSIS stands behind the quality of their work with a 4-year, 50,000-mile warranty.
ABT R8 GT S
Unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, ABT Sportsline ventured deep into the maximization of the standard V-10 powered Audi R8 Spyder. The ABT R8 GT S sports radical appearance and performance enhancements making the vehicle a true super supercar.
Decorated in two-tone bodywork combining red chrome with carbon fiber, the ABT R8 GT S projects an endearing high-performance look. Structurally, the ABT R8 GT S body panels have been optimized with carbon-reinforced polymer construction.
The gripping two-tone treatment displayed on the exterior of the ABT R8 GT S is a theme asserted to the two-seat cabin. Red and gray ABT seating is showcased along with an interior upholstered generously with leather. Gripping onto a carbon fiber steering wheel, the driver of the ABT R8 GT S will quickly realize the impact of 620 horsepower as the car is launched from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 3.6 seconds. Motivated by an extra 95 horsepower over the stock 5.2 FSI V-10 engine, top speed for the R8 GT S supercar tops out at 200 miles per hour. Despite the extreme performance potential of the R8 GT S, ABT Sportsline claims the supercar is tempered enough for everyday driving.
MTM Audi R8 4.2 V-8
A company derived from the creation of a modified Audi Ur-quattro in 1985, performance tuner MTM GmbH has remained a faithful supporter of the VW Group vehicles. Centered on building functional but thrilling products, MTM magic is so brilliantly released on the Audi R8 supercar. Providing parts for both the V-8 and V-10 versions of the R8, MTM customization is opened to the coupe, Spyder as well as the Audi R8 GT.
Available for the 4.2 liter FSI V-8 engined version of the Audi R8 has the widest selection of pieces under MTM. Brembo brakes with 8-piston calipers, an electronic lowering kit and an unpainted carbon appearance kit is a sampling of clearly visible MTM enhancements. A choice of two 20-inch MTM Bimoto wheels completes the aesthetic enhancements the Audi R8. Guaranteed to the most invigorating MTM-sourced component optional for the Audi R8 supercar is the company’s supercharger kit worth 140 extra horsepower over the eight-cylinder stock counterpart. With horsepower elevated to 560 horsepower, the MTM Audi R8’s 0 to 62 mile-per hour acceleration is registered at 3.9 seconds (0.7 seconds better than the factory’s version). Capable of 188 miles per hour with the standard final gear, an available longer gear allows the MTM Audi R8’s velocity to almost approach 197 miles per hour.
Information and photo source: ABT Sportsline, EDO Competition, Motoren Technik Mayer GmbH, STaSIS, TC Concepts
Ever heard of the brand Hispano? Me neither, until now. Turns out they’re a luxury car maker whose made a crap-load of cars that we’ve never heard about. But based on what they’re creating now, I have a feeling the name will get more well known in the supercar community.
Based on an Audi R8 V10, Hispano created a monster of a car. Called the Suiza, the supercar carries a twin-supercharged version of the R8′s 5.2-liter V10. It creates around 750 horsepower and 516 lb-ft – plenty enough to get you around. Want even more? Hispano is proposing a hybrid version of the car (based on the Audi e-tron,) which will output an estimated 900 hp! Ridiculous? Yes. Awesome? Hell yes. They’re also considering a convertible version of the Suiza, surely based off of the R8 Spyder.
The slightly less insane 750 hp version of the car will propel you from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.4 seconds, up to a top speed of 205 mph. The driver has to have deep pockets to own the Suiza – estimated cost is around $943,000.
Expect to see the Hispano Suiza at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show in a few days. Check out a couple more images below:
Audi just released pricing and release information on the American version of the R8 V10. We’ve been waiting for this ever since Europe got it, and Audi said they’ll be shipping the first R8 V10s to the States starting this week!
Pricing for the regular R8 (V8) stays at the same $114,200 for the 2010 model, with the V10 version coming in at $146,000 – a $32K price difference. Still not bad if you consider what you’re getting dollar-for-performance. The 5.2-liter V10 engine in the R8 5.2 is the same powerhouse found in the R8 LMS GT3 racecar. It produces 525 horsepower, 391 lb/ft of torque, and can get you from 0-60 mph in only 3.7 seconds. That’s fast.
The 2010 Audi R8 V10 gets some special equipment too, of course. Some unique exterior features include wider sideblades to catch more air, a shinier front grille, full-LED headlights, new 19-inch wheels, new oval-shaped exhaust tips, new rocker panel design, a larger rear diffuser, and “V10″ badges all around, including on the instrument cluster. As expected, it has Audi’s quattro AWD system, and comes standard with navigation, a 465 watt Bang & Olufen sound system, 10-way power heated sport seats, rear view camera with parking system, and a few other gadgets. “Sepang Blue Pearl” paint will be offered exclusively on the R8 V10. It looks fantastic, in case you were worried.
The first two 2010 R8 V10s bound for the States were sold to two rich bastards at the Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance charity auction who paid $500,000 and $450,000 for the cars. Good to know everyone isn’t struggling financially right now.
I’m going to try to get into one of these soon, assuming there are any available. If I succeed, expect a full review posted here immediately afterwards. Many more pictures below:
Audi is updating their already good navigation system in the A3, TT, and R8. The new nav system plus MMI features a higher, 800x480px resolution displayed on a 6.5-inch screen for improved readability and graphics. Route calculation is now much faster due to an upgraded 600 MHz processor.
The new system will display the speed limit on your current road as well, and will allow for more dynamic scrolling and navigating along the screen. In the optional Audi music interface, they’ve also updated the display of music information such as title information, making it easier to browse through your music on external storage. A bluetooth adapter can be used to stream music to the car wirelessly from your phone or MP3 player, and updates to the system can be downloaded yourself and applied via a USB stick.
The back of the folding display features two SD card slots that can hold up to 32 GB of music – enough to never have to change it out again. Lastly, the new optical parking assistant displays distance between you and an object on both front and rear, and in the R8 can be integrated into the rearview camera.
PPI, another German Audi tuner, has taken some of their best parts developed for the Audi R8 and rolled it all into one. They call it the PPI RAZOR GTR, and it’s mean. The result of this is an R8 with 580hp, and about 443 ft-lbs of torque. Their main objective here was to optimize the power-to-weight ratio of the R8, so they’ve also lightened the car by 551 lbs. This allows the Razor GTR to run from 0 to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, and reach a top speed of 206 mph. This is all made possible by the specially made supercharger system along with a ram-charged air filter system, high-flow exhaust, and re-tuned ECU.
The extensive modification list begins with the body. Carbon fiber is used all-around to reduce weight an increase strength. This includes PPI’s own front bumper and front diffuser for aerodynamics, and large air inlets to help cool the brakes and feed fresh air to the radiators. New sideskirts also help with aerodynamics, and a larger rear wing with adjustable flap keep the car planted at high speeds. They’ve even changed the motor cover, which is now made from Makrolon – a lightweight polycarbonate material, and includes carbon fiber ram-charged air inlets that help keep the engine cool. New side blades, rear fenders, and rear bumper also help with cooling, and a new rear diffuser works with them to help with aerodynamics.
The car was fitted with a widebody skin to help fit all the extra parts, and to make room for the wider wheels, which are lightweight carbon fiber (of course) forged aluminum PPI wheels. The 19-inch wheels in front weigh only 19.4 lbs, and the 20-inch set in the rear weigh 22 lbs. Decreasing unsprung weight is one of the best ways to increase your car’s performance, so no bling-bling here. The brakes under these wheels are specially made for this car, and include large 6-piston calipers and large rotors.
A new coilover kit has also been added, and comes with a hydraulic lift system which will raise and lower the car to fit over speed bumps, curbs, and steep inclines. We first saw this in the Lamborghini Diablo, which had this rather serious problem of scraping everything more than a couple inches tall.
The interior wasn’t left untouched, of course. Most everything is made from carbon fiber inside, from the hand-brake lever, door sill protectors, Driver and Radio Console Surround, Door Trims, Center Console inserts,kneepad trims, the lightweight sport seats, the headliner, the steering wheel, shift knob, door panels and center console. The leather is replaced with high quality Onyx Nubuck-leather and orange accents and highlights, with PPI badging and styling.
Now…just wait until they get ahold of the R8 V10.
PPI Razor GTR Photo Gallery:
Insiders at Audi have confirmed production of the R8 Convertible, probably to be released in 2011. The R8 Cabriolet (hopefully called a Spyder instead,) will most likely forgo the retractable hardtop, and instead use a fabric roof. We assume this because of the limited space in the rear from the R8′s mid-mounted engine, and from Audi’s previous use of fabric tops. Whether the convertible will receive the V8 engine from the original R8 or the upcoming 5.2-liter V10 is unknown at this time.
I am very against the idea of a convertible R8, regardless if it’s soft- or hard-top. Some cars simply should not be made into convertibles, and the R8 is one of them. I think the R8 is one of the best-looking cars on the road, but as a convertible it looks terrible. Some of the earlier shots I’ve seen of the R8 Spyder have been downright ugly, and a video of the prototype lapping a track has the car sounding great, but looking terribly awkward. The video is below.
Please Audi, don’t make this car.
The Audi R8 won the 2009 “Classic of the Future” award in the Sports Car category from Motor Klassik readers. Sounds about right, considering the attention and praise the R8 has received since it was launched in 2008, not to mention the Godfather-inspired commercial aired during the 2008 Superbowl.
Motor Klassik readers chose from 168 different models in seven categories, and the R8 got top spot. With the R8 V10 coming soon, the car will certainly be considered a classic in a decade or two.
In a related note, the Audi A6 snagged third place in the “full-size car of the modern age” award. Congrats Audi!
Audi just released a new promo video for the R8 V10 (a.k.a Audi R8 5.2 quattro FSI V10.) The video is typical of the car driving around on an open road and includes a few interesting special effects. I’m sure the video will be playing in Audi showrooms around Europe, which us Americans are sitting here twiddling our thumbs waiting for the car.
As I’m sure you know, the R8 V10 has a 5.2-liter FSI V10 engine producing over 520 hp. The car can run from 0 to 60 in only 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 196 mph. These specs make it the fastest ever road-going Audi, and comes dangerously close to knocking the Lamborghini Gallardo directly on its ass.
German tuner MTM has taken Audi’s R8 to the next level. Not only have they added the eye-catching (or eye-bleeding) Kermit-the-Frog-green from the Porsche GT3 RS, they’ve increased engine output to an incredible 560 horsepower – higher than the 520hp 5.2-liter V10 promised in the R8 5.2 FSI Quattro coming soon.
They’ve achieved this 120hp boost by adding a supercharger, a reprogrammed ECU, and a quad-exhaust for free-flowing air out of the more powerful engine. Not wanting the R8 V10 customers to feel left out, MTM has developed an ECU program to allow to achieve the same 560 horsepower from their machines.
In addition to the increase in power and wild color scheme, MTM also includes a full aerodynamic body kit made completely from carbon fiber, revised carbon fiber side blades, and 20-inch forged Bimoto alloy wheels. Suspension upgrades include lowering springs with an optional lift-kit for burbs and speed bumps (Lamborghini-style.)
As you can sort of see from the interior picture below, you can opt for matching green stitching and carbon fiber appointments inside the R8, which may or may not look very good.
As cool as the paint job looks, I could do without the resemblance to Porsche, and stick with the excellent performance upgrade. No pricing is announced at this point, but expect to shell out a pretty penny for these pricey upgrades.
More pictures below: