Josef Schloßmacher Eric Felber
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The Audi R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro –
• V8 engine with 316 kW (430 hp), quattro all-wheel drive standard
• Lightweight and quiet cloth top with electrohydraulic drive
• Aluminum body with large components of carbon fiber composite
Ingolstadt, July 1, 2010 – Audi is adding another model to its R8 high-
performance sports car lineup: Hot on the heels of the R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro
comes another model with a V8 engine. The 4.2-liter FSI produces 316 kW
(430 hp) and launches the open-top two-seater to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in
4.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 300 km/h (186.41 mph). The engine is
mated to the R tronic sequential manual gearbox; quattro permanent all-wheel
drive is standard.
The R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro has a lightweight cloth top with a fully automatic
drive. Its body is an aluminum Audi Space Frame with large-area components of
carbon fiber composite material. A fit and finish typical of Audi, excellent
everyday practicality and optional high-end technologies – from LED headlights to
seatbelt microphone – complete the profile of the model athlete.
Superior power: the engine
The free-breathing 4.2 FSI is a high-performance engine such as can be found in
racing. It delivers an experience that enthralls all of the senses – with spontaneous,
voracious throttle response, with its easy revving, with hefty torque, prodigious
power and sonorous, voluminous music.
The V8 accelerates the R8 Spyder from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in
4.8 seconds and on up to a top speed of 300 km/h (186.41 mph). Both values apply
for the manual transmission and for the R tronic. At Audi, dynamics also always
means efficiency. The R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro with the R tronic consumes on
average 13.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (16.92 US mpg); fuel consumption with the
manual transmission is 14.9 liters per 100 km (15.79 US mpg). A recuperation
system that recovers energy during braking is standard. The forced oil pump of the
dry sump lubrication system features various suction and discharge stages for load-
The 4.2 FSI, which is also used in this form in the R8 Coupé, produces 316 kW
(430 hp) from a displacement of 4,163 cc – 73.5 kW (103.2 hp) per liter. At the
nominal engine speed of 7,900 rpm, the long-stroke (bore x stroke 84.5 x 92.8
millimeters [3.33 x 3.65 in]) engine’s eight pistons travel 24.1 meters (79 ft) each
second. The electronic rev limiter kicks in at 8,250 rpm. The V8 delivers 430 Nm
(317.15 lb-ft) of torque to the crankshaft between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm, with at
least 90 percent of peak torque available between 3,500 and 7,500 rpm.
The compact V8, which is hand-assembled at the engine factory in Györ, Hungary,
has the classic cylinder angle of 90 degrees and weighs just 216 kilograms (476 lb).
Its crankcase is made of an aluminum-silicon alloy using the low-pressure die
casting method, which ensures particular homogeneity. The high silicon content
makes the cylinder barrels extremely resistant to wear.
A bedplate structure gives the crankcase its high rigidity and optimal vibration
behavior. The cast iron bearing bridges reduce its thermal expansion and thus keep
the play at the main bearings of the crankshaft within tight limits. The forged
crankshaft, the forged steel connecting rods and the forged aluminum pistons are
extremely lightweight, yet strong. The dry sump lubrication system with its separate
oil tank enables the engine to be installed very low while also ensuring the supply of
oil to the engine even under extreme lateral acceleration.
The high-revving V8 FSI draws its fuel from an FSI gasoline direct injection system –
typically Audi. The common rail unit injects the fuel at up to 120 bars of pressure.
The fuel mixture is swirled intensely in the combustion chambers and thus cools the
walls. This allows a high compression of 12.5:1, for increased performance and
efficiency. The 32 valves are actuated via roller cam followers by four camshafts,
each of which can be moved through 42 degrees of crankshaft rotation. They and the
ancillaries are driven by zero-maintenance chains running on the back side of the
The 4.2 FSI breathes through straight aluminum velocity stacks 23 centimeters
(9.06 in) in length integrated into the dual intake system. The intake plenum is
made of lightweight plastic. Vacuum-actuated flaps controlled by the engine
management system are integrated into the intake ports. They cause the air to move
with a roller-like rotation (to “tumble”), which increases the efficiency of the
The dual-branch exhaust system features dual tailpipes. The exhaust system
components and the pipes of the manifold have been designed for low backpressure
and are very light. The exhaust flaps in both tailpipes open at higher load and engine
speed for an even fuller sound.
Dynamic: the drivetrain
The Audi R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro comes standard with a manual six-speed
transmission. It works together with a compact dual-disc clutch and can be shifted
extremely precisely and easily with short throws. The shift lever is made of polished
aluminum, the open gate of stainless steel.
The R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro is optionally available with the R tronic, a highly
efficient sequential six-speed transmission. Shift commands are transmitted
electrically; a hydraulic system changes the gears and manages the clutch. The
R tronic offers both an automatic and a manual mode, both of which allow the driver
to choose between two shift programs.
In manual mode, the driver changes gears using the joystick on the center tunnel or
with the paddles on the steering wheel. At high load and engine speed, gear changes
take less than a tenth of a second. The Launch Control program ensures optimal
starts. It controls the engine speed and the engagement of the clutch to accelerate
the open-top two-seater with the ideal wheel slip.
The quattro permanent all-wheel drive delivers the engine’s power to all four
wheels. Together with the locking differential on the rear axle, it provides
significantly greater traction, stability, cornering speed and precision. The four
powered wheels seem to claw into the asphalt at the exit of the corner, and the
driver can get back on the throttle sooner than in a car with rear-wheel drive.
Due to the mid-engine layout, the quattro all-wheel drive system in the R8 Spyder is
a special design with a strong rear bias. The transmission, which is mounted behind
the longitudinally installed V8, has an auxiliary drive for a cardan shaft running past
the engine to the front.
A viscous coupling distributes the torque at the front axle. During normal driving, it
sends roughly 15 percent of the torque to the front wheels and 85 percent to the
rear wheels. If the rear wheels begin to slip, an additional 15 percent is quickly sent
to the front. A locking differential at the rear axle further improves dynamics. It
provides up to 25 percent lockup when accelerating and up to 45 percent when
coasting. If a wheel on one of the axles should slip, it is braked by the EDS electronic
Highly emotional: the design
The R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro is 4.43 meters (14.53 ft) long, 1.90 meters (6.23 ft)
wide and 1.24 meters (4.07 ft) tall – it has a wide, hunkered-down stance on the
road as if ready to pounce. Its dynamic proportions, the sculpted design and the
passenger cell situated far to the front with the flat windshield visually underscore
the mid-engine concept. The large vertical air intakes are athletically sculpted out of
the flanks, and the shadow contour of the rear end forms a powerful wave above the
An elliptical crease encircles the long back and provides visual structure. When
viewed from above, it combines the passenger compartment and the engine into a
single unit. Two arched cowls in glistening silver give the back a powerful profile.
They taper from the bulkhead to the spoiler lip, and each includes six integrated air
vents. Another wide discharge vent is located between the cowls.
Numerous other touches – from the single-frame grille painted in high-gloss black
to the exposed gas cap of solid aluminum – document the Audi designers’ great
attention to detail.
The headlights are technical works of art – this applies to the standard xenon plus
units and even more so for the optional LED headlights, which use light-emitting
diodes for all lighting functions. Their reflectors resemble open mussel shells, and
the daytime running lights appear to be a homogeneous strip extending along the
lower edge of the headlight. One of Audi’s greatest innovations, the LED light, has a
color temperature very similar to that of daylight, making it easier on the eyes when
driving at night. It also impresses with a long service life and extremely low energy
The rear of the R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro features LED tail lights as standard
equipment. The exhaust system terminates in dual tailpipes on both the left and the
right. The rear spoiler, which extends automatically at 100 km/h (62.14 mph), and
the fully lined underbody generate a downforce that presses the high-performance
sports car firmly to the road. With a drag coefficient of 0.37 and the small front
surface area of 1.99 m2 (21.42 sq ft), however, the two-seater still glides easily
through the wind. Audi applied a lot of the knowledge gleaned in motorsport to the
flow of air around and through the body.
Audi offers the R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro with a choice of three colors for the top:
black, red and brown. The body is available in the solid finishes Ibis White and
Brilliant Red; the metallic finishes Suzuka Gray, Teak Brown, Ice Silver, Jet Blue and
Aurum Beige; and the pearl effect finishes Daytona Gray, Sepang Blue, Lava Gray and
Phantom Black. The windshield frame is coated with anodized aluminum.
Just 215 kilograms (474 lb): the body
Equipped with a manual transmission, the R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro weighs only
1,735 kilograms (3,825 lb) (including driver), and just five kilograms (11 lb) more
with the R tronic. The decisive factor for this low weight is the aluminum body,
which features an Audi Space Frame (ASF) design.
The body in white consists of three wrought components: Extruded aluminum
sections comprise 75 percent; vacuum-cast nodes 8 percent; and the aluminum
panels that are integrated into this skeleton with friction connections make up the
remaining 17 percent. The body is largely assembled by hand with the utmost
The open superstructure features special reinforcements in the area of the sills, the
center tunnel, the rear bulkhead, the floor and both the A and B pillars, yet still only
weighs 216 kilograms (476 lb). The high stiffness of the ASF body, which includes a
co-supporting engine frame of ultra-lightweight magnesium, provides the
foundation for the dynamic handling, superior crash safety and high vibrational
comfort of the Audi R8 Spyder. The body tops its segment in terms of lightweight
quality – the relationship between weight, size and torsional stiffness.
The side panels of the open-top two-seater are made of ultra-lightweight carbon
fiber composite material (CFRP), as is the large cover over the roof compartment.
They are produced using a new method called resin transfer molding (RTM). In
addition to being faster and more energy-efficient than conventional production in
an autoclave, RTM also yields superior surface quality. The use of carbon fiber
composite enables weight savings of up to 60 percent over conventional steel
components and also permits greater design freedom.
Lightweight and convenient: the cloth roof
The R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro has a cloth roof – a classic feature typical of Audi and
without compromise for a high-performance sports car. The soft top’s approximate
weight is a mere 42 kilograms (93 lb); it thus keeps the vehicle’s weight and center
of gravity low. The top takes up little space when open, and is a harmonious design
element when closed. It tapers off to two long, slim fins that extend to the trailing
edge of the car and have an elongated contour similar to the fixed roof of the
The outer skin of the top is a leakproof textile fabric. A headliner covers the frame,
which is made primarily of die-cast magnesium and aluminum. The soft top is fully
suitable for high-speed driving. When driving at moderate speeds with the top up,
interior noise levels in the R8 Spyder are barely higher than in the Coupé. The cloth
top has an electrohydraulic drive that uses a system of actuators, hinges and hooks
to open and close the top within 19 seconds, even while driving at speeds up to
50 km/h (31.07 mph). When opened, the 1.7 square meters (18.30 sq ft) of fabric
folds in a Z-shape into its storage compartment over the engine. The CFRP
compartment cover moves on two seven-joint hinges. The precise mechanical
interaction of the two components is a pleasure to watch.
The heated glass window, which is separate from the cloth top, is lowered into the
bulkhead between the passenger compartment and the engine compartment. It can
be raised and lowered at the press of a switch, with the soft top up or down. An
additional wind deflector comes standard. It latches into the bulkhead behind the
seats in two steps and keeps the cabin nearly draft-free at speeds of up to roughly
200 km/h (124.27 mph).
The top with its rear-window module, the storage compartment, the cover and the
rollover protection system forms a premounted assembly. It is inserted into the ASF
body at the manufacturing plant at Audi’s Neckarsulm site, where the R8 Spyder is
built, lending the body additional stiffness.
Located in the bulkhead is a rollover protection system comprising two strong,
spring-loaded sections that shoot up within 0.2 seconds when needed. In the event
of a side impact, head/thorax side airbags in the backrests protect the passengers.
Full-size airbags stand at the ready in the event of a head-on collision. In a rear-end
collision, the integral Audi head restraint system reduces the risk of whiplash
Technical expertise: the chassis
Mesmerizing emotions embedded in perfect technical expertise – the R8 Spyder
4.2 FSI quattro is an integrated system of speed. It steers spontaneously, almost
reflexively, into corners and takes them with stoic composure. The limit is very high
and easily controlled. The hydraulic rack-and-pinion power steering connects the
driver intimately with the road. With a steering ratio of 16:1, it is sporty and direct,
but never nervous in its response.
The R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro has a wheelbase of 2.65 meters (8.69 ft). Its axle
load distribution is 43:57 percent; the track measures 1.64 meters (5.38 ft) up front
and 1.60 meters (5.25 ft) at the rear. Forged aluminum double wishbones – a
principle borrowed from race car construction – locate the wheels. Their rubber-
metal bearings divert the lateral forces precisely into the body while at the same
time ensuring high longitudinal elasticity. The setup provides for surprisingly good
comfort in everyday driving. A dedicated sports suspension is available as an option.
Another option for the R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI is Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping.
The system uses magnetic fields in the hydraulic shock absorbers to adjust their
response to road conditions within milliseconds and adapt to the driver’s style.
There is a choice of two basic characteristics. During fast cornering and when
braking, the control unit reduces body pitch and roll through the targeted increase
of damping force at the individual wheels.
The R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro rolls on 18-inch wheels shod with 235/40 tires up
front and 285/35 tires in the rear. A tire pressure indicator is standard. Audi offers
optional 19-inch wheels in a variety of designs – monochrome or two colors,
polished or in titanium look.
Behind the wheels are powerful disc brakes measuring 365 millimeters (14.37 in) in
diameter up front and 356 millimeters (14.02 in) in the back. To quickly dissipate
the heat, they are internally ventilated, perforated and composed of two pieces –
stainless steel pins connect the steel friction rings to the aluminum caps.
Black, eight-piston calipers grab the front discs, with four-piston calipers used in the
rear. The 19-inch wheels are optionally available with perforated carbon fiber-
ceramic discs that are extremely lightweight, robust, long-lived and corrosion-free.
The open high-performance sports car has a specially configured stability system on
board. With the touch of a button, the driver can activate a sport mode that permits
exciting but safe oversteer when the gas is applied while exiting a corner. The ESP
together with the anti-slip control can also be deactivated completely for dynamic
Luxury and dynamics: The interior and equipment
Three strengths characterize the interior of the Audi R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro: the
uncompromising quality with respect to the use and finish of the materials; the
generous amount of room; and the high degree of practicality.
Drivers and passengers of any size find an ideal seating position in the sport seats
with their pronounced side bolsters. The ring of the leather multifunction sport
steering wheel is flattened. Visibility is good, with narrow A-pillars ensuring a large
diagonal view to the front. Another advantage in everyday driving is the luggage
compartment – there is space under the front hatch for 100 liters (3.53 cu ft). A
storage box with three bins is located behind the seats.
A large arch, the “monoposto”, encircles the interior, which is distinctly oriented
toward the driver. The controls are clearly and logically structured; the standard
automatic air conditioning system is specially matched to the needs of open-top
driving. The driver information system integrates a lap timer for recording circuit
times. Most of the interior is a sportily cool black; many controls shine in aluminum
Among the highlights of the standard equipment are seats covered with Fine Nappa
leather, the aluminum door sills, the concert radio system with seven speakers, the
xenon plus headlights, the LED tail lights, the automatic air conditioning system,
the alarm system, the automatic top, the rollover protection system and the wind
deflector. Metallic paint and heated seats are also standard.
Audi also offers an array of fine options – power seats, an interior lighting package,
hill hold assist, cruise control, deluxe automatic air conditioning, a storage package
and the high-beam assistant. All leather for the seats is colored with pigments that
reflect the infrared component of sunlight, greatly reducing the heating of the
Multimedia options include an excellent sound system from Bang & Olufsen with
450 watts of power, the Audi music interface for easily connecting an external
player and a Bluetooth cell phone preparation. The navigation system plus is
characterized by its MMI operating logic and a high-resolution 6.5-inch display. It
can be combined with a reversing camera.
An enticing innovation from Audi is the seatbelt microphone for the hands-free unit
and the speech dialogue system, which makes it possible to talk on the phone even
with the top down on the highway. Both seatbelts house three small, flat
microphones. At least one of them is ideally positioned relative to the speaker when
the belt is on. There is a fourth microphone in the windshield frame.
Extreme individualists can choose from a wealth of exclusive options, the lion’s
share of which are provided by quattro GmbH. These include leather seat coverings
in a wide variety of colors and grades, aluminum-look pedals, the carbon package for
the exterior, inlays in carbon and piano finish black, Alcantara for the headliner and
the luggage compartment lining and the custom luggage set.
The R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro will be rolling into German showrooms in the third
quarter of 2010. Sales will be starting soon at a base price of €121,000.
The Audi Group sold around 950,000 cars of the Audi brand in 2009. The Company posted revenue of
€29.8 billion and an operating profit of €1.6 billion. Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm
(Germany), Györ (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). Aurangabad in India saw the
start of CKD production of the Audi A6 at the end of 2007 and of the Audi A4 in early October 2008.
Production of the new Audi A1 has been running at the Brussels plant since May 2010. The Company is
active in more than 100 markets worldwide. AUDI AG’s wholly owned subsidiaries include AUDI
HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft., Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A. in Sant’Agata Bolognese (Italy) and
quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm. Audi currently employs around 58,000 people worldwide, including
45,500 in Germany. Between 2010 and 2012 the Audi Group is planning to invest around €5.5 billion,
mainly in new products, in order to sustain the Company’s technological lead embodied in its “Vorsprung
durch Technik” slogan. By 2015, Audi plans to increase the number of models in its portfolio to 42.
Audi has long been fulfilling its social responsibility on many levels – with the aim of making the future
worth living for generations to come. The basis for Audi’s lasting success is therefore formed by
environmental protection, the conservation of resources, international competitiveness and a forward-
looking human resources policy. One example of AUDI AG’s commitment to environmental issues is the
newly established Audi Environmental Foundation.