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The New Audi R8 Has Arrived!

The New Audi R8 Has Arrived!

Audi has been a busy little bee these past few months, but not too busy to work on a replacement R8 supercar. This time around, however, things are a little different.

R8front

Last year, the original R8 came with a V8 engine, and was shortly followed by a V10 engine. This time around, we do not get an eight-cylinder option, but rather just the rather shouty V10 engine from Lamborghini. Why? This is due to stringent tax laws on engines over 4.0 litres in major markets like China. However, fear not, because rumours around Geneva suggest a cheaper and less powerful R8 may be in the works to combat this problem.

So, for now, its just the V10, specifically the 5.2 litre V10 producing either 532 bhp in standard form or 601 bhp in “Plus” form. Obviously, this being Audi, that power is sent to all four wheels via a newly-developed Quattro four-wheel drive system. Couple this power to a 66 kg weight reduction, and the 2015 R8 will sprint to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds and keep sprinting to a top speed of 205 mph for the “Plus” model, and 3.5 seconds to 62 mph and 201 mph top speed for the standard model.  The V10 also features silly fuel-saving technologies, because apparently people who buy these cars care about these things.

R8back

The design is an evolution of the current model, with sharper detailing all over the car. It is on the inside, where things are very different.  The interior follows heavily from current Audi models, which are some of the best in the business in terms of infotainment and overall design and usability.

R8interior

There will also be an R8 e-tron electric vehicle which will produce the equivalent of 456 bhp and reach 62mph in 3.9 seconds and have a range of 280 miles. Don’t buy the e-tron if you have a shred of dignity, buy the shouty V10 instead.

The new R8 is currently on show at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

The New Audi TT; Is It New?

The New Audi TT; Is It New?

Audi tt front

One of the highlights of the Geneva Motor Show was, or was meant to be, the 2014 Audi TT, the third generation of this iconic sportscar.  I say meant to be, because while many were expecting another triumph of design as the A5, the R8, the original TT and the A7 were, this new TT is just, on the exterior at least, just generic Audi parts bin.

The exterior design is not a special, or an especially good-looking thing. It has got some fiddly-looking LED lights, the now standard Audi trapezoidal grille, an overall face that is rather forgetful.You might even mistake it for the original from some angles. The profile view of the car is that distinctive shape we have come to associate with the TT, and the rear looks like a freshened up version of the original TT’s rear end. I am also inclined to say that the tail lights remind me very much of the Peugeot 407 Coupe.

While the exterior is a bit of the let down, the interior is a different story entirely. Audi are making strides in the interior department, and the new TT is the greatest stride they have made so far. First up, there is no central infotainment screen. There is very little in the way of buttons. As soon as you step inside, you are greeted with a sporty-looking steering wheel, behind which there is a large screen  behind the steering wheel which we will come to later, three air vents, with a digital read-out of the air-conditioning temperature in the middle of the air vents, a few toggle switches below the vents, and that’s about it.

Audi TT CoupThe beautiful thing about this car is that there is no central screen on the dashboard. Instead, there is a massive TFT screen behind the steering wheel including information like your speed, revs, fuel level and so on, but also incorporates the navigation and infotainment screens, all controlled via the rotary dial found on the central armrest. This, in theory at least, keeps the driver looking forward. Whether or not this will prove to be more of a distraction on the road remains to be seen, however in principle, this sounds like a grand idea.

Apart from this new take on interior design, the rest of the cabin is beautifully appointed. Leather is of top quality, with gorgeous quilted stitching, and the entire cabin is dotted with intricate aluminium inserts, making the overall appearance very elegant indeed. Yet, at the same time, it is a successful mix of sporty and elegant.

Now how about the internals? The new car is 50 kg lighter than before, despite having a longer wheelbase. From launch, there will be a choice of three four-cylinder petrol engines, producing between 227 and 306 bhp. The more powerful version will be the TTS version and claims a 0-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed pegged at 155 mph. There will also be a 181 bhp 2.0 litre diesel engine, if you are into that sort of thing. Gearboxes will be either the 6-speed manual or Audi’s 6-speed dual clutch.

Audi-TT-2014

While the exterior is not as dramatic as an RCZ, the interior puts every one of its rivals about five years behind. The engine choices also sound very promising, especially with Audi’s dual clutch gearbox. Judging by the specs of this new car, the nickname “hairdresser’s car” will no longer apply to this Audi.