Audi has competed at and won the 24 hour-long Le Mans race in an R8 five out of six years since it was first unveiled in 2000. Since then, it’s stepped up production of the R8, and the 2017 version is about to hit the market next spring in the US. According to a report from CS Monitor, this R8 is the most powerful version yet.
The new R8 includes a Modular Sportscar System (MSS) aluminum spaceframe, made of aluminum and carbon fiber. The frame is almost 70 pounds lighter than the older model, contributing to an overall decrease in weight by nearly 110 pounds. The frame is 40 percent stiffer, due largely in part to two X braces above and behind the engine.
Engineers also made significant improvements to the 5.2-liter V-10 engine. They added port injection alongside the existing direct injection to improve fuel economy by up to 13 percent. An onboard computer will helps the car choose which injection method to use based on the throttle demands.
New software and improvements to the engine’s compression up the horsepower in the new R8 from 525 to 540, and the torque from 391 to 398 pound-feet.
The changes made to the R8’s engine and frame make it the most powerful model of the R8 yet. The lucky few that have had a chance to drive the R8 say that it’s the best version yet. Those who haven’t will have to wait until next spring when the 2017 R8 goes on sale in the U.S.