Audi has given the official green light to build its Lamborghini Gallardo-based R8 sports car.
Although the project was always likely to go ahead when the Le Mans concept was unveiled in 2003, Audi has waited until now to confirm that the Porsche 911 rival will definitely be built.
Production will start late next year, with the car arriving in showrooms in the first quarter of 2007. The R8 is named after Audi’s three-time Le Mans endurance race winner, and is likely to cost from about £60,000 to £65,000.
The original concept was powered by a 5.0-litre, bi-turbo, 610bhp V10 petrol engine giving a 0-62mph time of 3.7sec and 214mph top speed. It’s unlikely this engine will appear from launch, but there’s no reason it couldn’t eventually end up in the R8 and in its sister supercar, the Gallardo.
Rumours suggest entry-level cars will produce up to around 380bhp, while a car using the Gallardo’s current V10 engine will offer an equivalent 500bhp and cost around £90,000 to £100,000.
We expect even the slowest of the R8s to reach 62mph comfortably in under five seconds, and power on to well over 180mph.
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