Cars.com's first look at the 2008 Audi R8 at the Road America Race Track in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Hi, I'm Joe Wiesenfelder from Cars.com. We've come to an undisclosed location in Germany to check out the Audi R8. Actually, that's not true, we're in Wisconsin and it's raining. But we're not bitter. The R8 is the newest phenomenon from Audi.
It is a $110,000 sports car powered by a 420 horsepower, 4.2 liter V8. It is not turbocharged, it's not supercharged. It's the same engine that's in the RS 4 compact. The wheels are 19-inch alloys. Now you'll notice the drilled brake rotors and the large calipers. There are eight pistons per front caliper and four pistons per rear caliper for a total of 24 for the whole car. The car has permanent all-wheel drive, which means the front and rear wheels are driven. This section is what Audi calls a side blade. It is both a design element and a functional element. It has intake vents right here that flow through the sealed engine compartment and then vent alongside the window. This keeps the engine cool. The R8 is a two-seater. It comes with a six-speed manual transmission, a conventional type with a gated shifter. Now because the trunk in the front is not very big, it's about three and a half cubic feet, Audi says you can put two full golf bags in the back here. How you get 'em in, I don't know. How you get 'em out, I don't know. How you see out the back, I don't know. But that's their claim. This is the first time that Audi has put its signature four rings on the hood instead of on the grill. Now you'll notice these LED lights. At this point, it looks like we're not gonna get these in the United States, which is unfortunate. These are xenon high-intensity discharge headlights. Audi is also talking about having the first ever LED headlights. (engine roaring) As Audi's champion racer Michael Galati flung us around Road America's four-mile track, The car's refinement masked how fast we were going on the top end. Even as passengers, we could feel the R8's balance and composure. The R8 isn't as quick in the sprints as its looks suggest, with a 0 to 60 time of about 4.5 seconds. All the same, with a starting price under $110,000, the performance and supercar styling (car engine roaring) for every R8 Audi chooses to build. (energetic music)