The New Audi R8: The Second Generation of Speed

For us at Oh So Lofty, the first generation Audi R8 will always be remembered as a fantastic car. It looked great, sounded great, and had all the performance of a mid-engined supercar without many of the typical supercar drawbacks. The car, in typical German fashion, was extremely well-made, in addition to being capable of keeping up with rivals that cost significantly more. The original R8 was a versatile machine, and over the course of its time in production it was sold as a coupe and spider, powered by either a V8 or V10, and (like many other supercars out there) included its fair share of special editions and facelifts. This week, the successor to this beloved machine has finally been revealed to the public. The second generation R8 will be on display for the first time in Geneva next week, so here's everything we know about the car ahead of its first public appearance.

As the Lamborghini Gallardo was the sister car of the original R8, this second generation car shares much of its underpinnings with the new baby Lambo, the Huracan. That means that this new R8 is powered by the Huracan's incredible 5.2 liter V10. At launch, unlike the last R8, the car will only available in V10 form, with two versions to choose from: the V10 and V10 Plus. The base V10 produces a not-so-insignificant 532 horsepower, which allows the car to sprint from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds on the way to its 200 mph top speed. For those consumers that don't think that sounds quick enough, the range-topping V10 Plus takes the already-fast R8 V10 and makes everything a bit crazier. The V10 Plus produces the very same 602 horsepower found in the Lamborghini Huracan, resulting in a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds as the car screams towards its 205 mph top speed. So the new R8 isn't exactly what you'd call slow. In fact, it's actually the fastest, most powerful production Audi ever made.

In typical Audi fashion, their 2nd generation flagship model sends the engine's considerable power to all four wheels through their seven-speed, dual clutch S-Tronic transmission. Since the last model, the transmission's software has been revised to produce even more rapid shift times than before. The Quattro AWD system on this car has also been more intelligently designed than its predecessor, meaning the system is capable of fully variable torque distribution. This means that, when necessary, the car can send 100% of its power to either the front or rear wheels.

During its evolution into the second generation car, the R8 has also taken part in a weight loss program. The R8's body is now made mainly from cast aluminum, with certain parts being constructed out of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. This allows the new R8 to be more rigid, as well as over 100 pounds lighter than the outgoing model. This is very good news. The designers also paid careful attention to air flow as well, as the underbody was designed for optimal air flow. A fixed rear spoiler has also been applied to the V10 Plus to help keep the back end planted at high speeds.

All-in-all, Audi has undoubtedly stepped their game up with the introduction of the new R8. The car is going to be incredibly fast and will probably be a runaway success, just like the first one was. It might not be as pretty as its successor, but regardless of appearance it's still going to be a wonderful car. So for everything Audi R8 and pretty much anything else that's fast on four wheels, make sure to keep up with Oh So Lofty for our full coverage of  Geneva 2015.