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2015 Audi R8 - engines, details and prices

The replacement for the Audi R8 has been revealed. The Porsche 911 rival goes on sale this summer

Words ByGreg Kable

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The 2015 version of the Audi R8 has been revealed at the Geneva motor show.

What is it?

The R8 is Audi's rival to the likes of the Porsche 911, and the second generation is due to go on sale later this year.

This version is all-new, and comes with permanent four-wheel drive and a seven-speed S tronic gearbox.

Stylistically, the new Audi leans heavily on its predecessor. Despite the apparent visual similarities between the two, though, every exterior element is described as new, including the new R8’s signature single frame grille and complete aluminium body.

Inside, it has been totally redesigned, with a choice of new sports seats or bucket seats, which are optional on the entry-level version and standard on the higher models. It also comes with a performance steering wheel and the new Audi virtual cockpit that first appeared on the new TT.

What engines does it come with?

From launch there will be just one engine: a V10 with a choice of two power outputs. The basic 5.2-litre R8 V10 comes with 533bhp and 398lb ft of torque. This manages the 0-62mph sprint in just 3.5 seconds, and it goes on to a top speed of 200mph.

The R8 V10 Plus is the fastest production Audi yet, and takes just 3.2 seconds to get from 0-62mph, while 0-124mph takes just 9.9 seconds. It is a 602bhp engine, which has a maximum torque output of 413lb ft.

The R8 also comes with Audi's cylinder-on-demand technology, whcih shuts down one of the cylinder banks when they are not needed. As a result, the basic car is capable of an average 23.9mpg - an improvement of 4.3mpg over the outgoing V10. A new engine stop-start system also helps with the improvement in efficiency.

What equipment does it come with?

The R8 V10 comes with Audi's Drive Select system as standard, which allows the driver to choose one of four modes: comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. These tweak the engine, steering, suspension and gearbox settings accordingly.

A performance mode comes as an option on the V10, and as standard on the V10 Plus. This alters the level of stability control to allow for more dynamic driving.

Audi is offering the new R8 with its hi-tech laser headlights, which use a laser-guided spot lamp for the high beams, along with dynamic turn signals at the front. Dynamic turn signals are standard at the rear.

How much will it cost?

With no V8 option, starting prices are up sharply compared with the outgoing model. The car is available to order in the UK from May 2015 and prices start from Β£119,500 for the V10 and Β£137,500 for the V10 Plus. First deliveries will take place in late 2015.

Can I get a discount?

There are discounts available on the outgoing R8, but they are still small in percentage terms. It is less likely that there will be savings available in the early stages of the new R8's life, but it is worth asking.

What are its rivals like?

The default rival to the R8 has also been the default choice of sports car for many buyers: the Porsche 911. It remains the best in its class, having picked up our award for the Β£50,000-Β£100,000 category in the 2015 Car of the Year Awards.

With the R8 coming with only a V10, to start with at least, it may well be pushed up to the category above and compete with the likes of the Ferrari 458 Speciale, and the McLaren 650S. These are cars that have to appeal as much to the heart as to the head, so this puts the R8 into a very competitive category.