Audi R8 V10 Plus in the super test

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Audi R8 V10 Plus in the super test
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You are driving a V10 sports car up what is probably the most beautiful pass road and frustrated you want a steering wheel knob . You already know, a steering aid like the one often used on forklifts. Review: October 2014, Stilfser Joch, an overdose of serpentines, so pure joie de vivre? Think! Not so in the Audi R8 on a trip to Italy's highest mountain pass ( sport auto 11/2014, S tory ). Regardless of whether on narrow mountain passes or on the racetrack: The first-generation R8 model, with its extremely large steering angles, knotted its pilot's arms or forced him to change his grip in an unsportsmanlike manner.

Audi R8 is still allowed to play freely

With the second R8 series, everything should now get better. Even the wider body (plus 4 cm) with a sharper design language and a fixed CFRP rear wing stirs the pulse and expectations, as does the view through the rear window of the exposed V10 core.

Get in quickly before you get in The decision-makers are still thinking about it and retire the high-speed naturally aspirated engine in favor of a biturbo unit. Thank you for letting the Audi R8, like its Italian platform brother Lamborghini Huracán, play for free. Pressing the start button is followed by a hoarse V10 barking in the test. Racing car-like engine speed concert up to a maximum of 8,700 tours or fat coughing of the exhaust when taking off the accelerator - even after the engine of the Audi R8 V10 Plus has started, things get down to business.

Even tall people can finally sit properly in the Audi R8 V10 Plus, and even that Like now at the warm-up laps in Hockenheim, wearing a racing helmet. Unlike the seats of the predecessor, which were mounted far too high, the new standard bucket seats not only offer excellent lateral support, but also a pleasantly low seating position.

Finally! Reduced steering angle

The fly in the R8 soup was not the uncomfortable seating position, but rather its lateral dynamic appearance. “Reducing the steering angle was a main goal when developing the new Audi R8 V10 Plus. Thanks to the fundamentally further developed basic kinematics, the new R8 offers more grip, especially on the front axle. The entire performancealso benefits, for example, from the higher body rigidity and the new Quattro drive, ”explains Victor Underberg, Head of Development Chassis, Driving Dynamics, Comfort and Performance at Audi.

The steering angles that were much too large were added In the first R8 generation, understeer in the limit area, which caused many a curse in the sport auto test operation. In the editorial team, we like to separate sports cars into two categories - the performers and the posers. The fact that the Audi R8 has so far been the latter for trackday fans as well, could be seen with great regularity in Hockenheim and on the Nordschleife. Instead of being used for racetrack training sessions, the R8 was more often found on the boulevards of the big cities.

Tutoring in transverse dynamics for the Audi R8 V10 Plus

Now, when the Audi R8 V10 Plus turns for the first time into the ant curve on the small course in Hockenheim in the super test, we meet someone who has noticeably trained lateral dynamics. Knot in your arms when turning? Yesterday's news: the Audi R8 V10 Plus is already making small steering wheel movements quickly, as befits a super sports car of this caliber. The driver benefits from this more spontaneous and direct feedback about the central position, especially in the angled corners (ant curve, exit cross bar).

Unlike its predecessor, the new Audi R8 V10 Plus does not have a hydraulic one as standard, but an electromechanical one Rack-and-pinion power steering with a ratio of 15.7: 1. However, our Supertest Audi R8 V10 Plus is starting with the optional dynamic steering. Compared to the standard steering, depending on the application, it can act even more directly and with an even less steering angle. Depending on the speed, your superimposed gear varies the ratio between 10.0: 1 and 17.5: 1. In the performance modes, the ratio is 13: 1, regardless of the speed without taking your hands off the wheel. In addition to the buttons for the instrument cluster, there is not only a red start button and a button with an exhaust symbol to control the flap exhaust system, but also a button for the Drive Select dynamic handling control and a rotary push button for the performance Mode with the programs “dry”, “wet” and “snow” to adapt the Audi R8 V10 Plus to the respective grip situation.

The drive programs of the Drive Select system (modes: “comfort ', Auto', dynamic ',' individual ') influence the characteristics of the accelerator pedal, steering, transmission, the newly developed all-wheel drive (see technology spotlight), the flap exhaust system and, depending on the equipment, the Audi Magnetic Ride adaptive chassis.

Bilstein damper for R8

The supertest Audi R8 V10 Plushowever, it starts with the conventional chassis, which is a little more uncompromising for the race track. Its Bilstein dampers cannot be adjusted adaptively in the cockpit. Even without damper adjustment, the Audi R8 V10 Plus impresses with acceptable suspension comfort in everyday life.

The dynamic mode with the sharpest steering characteristic and the most rear-biased torque distribution of the all-wheel drive is not necessarily the ideal partner for clean speeding on the motorway or the racetrack, but for fun drifting. “There are customers who prefer a higher hand torque, and there are customers who prefer a lower hand torque. That's why I'm an absolute fan of our individual mode, ”says vehicle dynamics developer Underberg. In the individual mode of the Audi R8 V10 Plus, the operation of the engine and transmission, the steering, the all-wheel drive and the exhaust system can be adjusted independently of each other.

Back to Hockenheim and activate the 'dry' performance mode for dry track conditions. “In Performance Mode, the Audi R8 V10 Plus adjusts to race track operation. It's all about maximum performance and maximum speed - without a show factor, ”says Underberg. As in auto mode, the all-wheel drive distribution is designed for maximum traction in performance mode. In performance mode, the Audi R8 V10 Plus goes into ESC sport mode and continues to use its ESC control to a limited extent. The ESP is not completely deactivated. And that's supposed to be the fastest mode here in Hockenheim? It is part of the editorial ethos that we are always a little critical when it comes to sport auto supporting ESP interventions ...

Audi R8 V10 Plus only slightly understeers

Quickly check the tire temperature again in the instrument cluster. When it comes to everyday use of Michelin Cup tires, it should not be forgotten that these are sports tires. They work well in everyday life, apart from a slight sensitivity to ruts, but they need a certain temperature, as the cold braking values ​​of over 36 meters prove. The perfect working range of the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires is between 60 and 70 degrees on the racetrack. Fit, attack!

Not only is the steering more precise, the Audi R8 V10 Plus also steers noticeably more directly than its predecessor in the Supertest. The tendency to understeer has not completely disappeared with brand-new, well-tempered cup tires on the winding track in Hockenheim, but it is only moderately noticeable. The mid-engine sports car impresses with good traction under load. The power understeer of bygone days no longer torments in the cockpit, but has been reduced to an acceptable level.

Easily controllable, the Audi R8 V10 Plus storms around the small course in the test. The R8 reacts to load changes with productive self-steering behavior. That is a bit stressful under loadRear lightly in performance mode. You don't notice that the ESC sport mode is working in the background.

Supertest-R8 weighs 1,635 kilos

Compared to the somewhat outdated Pirelli P Zero Corsa performance tire used previously, the new Michelin Cup tire offers a much better level of grip. The ceramic brake system, which is standard in the Plus model, can also be seen with an easily adjustable pressure point, the successful ABS coordination and high and stable deceleration values Braking into a curve, you notice that the Audi R8 V10 Plus is still not one of the lightest sports cars and then wants to push it back over the front axle. At 1,635 kilos, the new generation Plus model with a full option tank (83 instead of 73 liters) weighs 30 kilos less than the first Audi R8 V10 Plus (Supertest 5/2013), but still 40 kilos more than its all-wheel drive, for example -Competitor Porsche 911 Turbo S (Supertest 2/2014).

Faster than 911 GT3 in Hockenheim

And what does the stopwatch say? At Hockenheim, the new Audi R8 V10 Plus is 1.2 seconds faster than its predecessor. With a lap time of 1: 09.4 minutes he has to let the even more agile and neutral Porsche 911 Turbo S (1: 08.7 min) pull with its all-wheel steering. Nevertheless he sends a big exclamation mark to Zuffenhausen. The Audi R8 V10 Plus is ahead of the current Porsche 911 GT3 in Hockenheim's all-time Supertest list. No trick in view of the R8 performance plus of 135 PS, Porsche fans might say. But you shouldn't forget that the Supertest 911 GT3 weighed exactly 187 kilos less than the R8.

After two to three fast laps on the small circuit at Hockenheim, the tires have to match the demanding track layout and the vehicle weight however, pay tribute. The tire temperatures then rise significantly above the perfect working temperature window, and the grip level of the cup tires noticeably decreases. Only now do noticeable control interventions by the sports ESC, which is involved in performance mode, become noticeable. If you still want to continue doing your race track laps, you should now completely deactivate the ESP. Overall, however, it is advisable to insert a cooling phase when the tire temperatures are too high, as the Audi R8 V10 Plus, with its deteriorating tire grip, pushes into understeer again.

A variable ABS and ESC set-up would be interesting To be able to automatically compensate for decreasing tire grip when visiting the racetrack. However, the fact that even with deactivated ESP and with a fresh set of tires later no improvement in lap times could be achieved.

Audi R8 V10 Plus with good drivability speaks for the successful coordination of the performance modeon the Nordschleife

The Audi R8 V10 Plus behaves similarly on the Nordschleife. The performance mode only works ideally in the absolute limit range if, in addition to air pressure and temperature of the tires, the external conditions are also perfect. Ideal means that the Audi R8 V10 Plus chases almost neutrally and with great traction over the Nordschleife and no control interventions can be felt.

However, as soon as one of the previously mentioned factors deviates and the driving behavior becomes a bit irregular at the limit , you can feel control impulses, for example when there is a load change. Keyword load change: In contrast to the driving dynamics tests (slalom and evasive test), the Audi R8 V10 Plus in Hockenheim and on the Nordschleife does not show any critical load change reactions, even with deactivated ESP, as long as driving is 'under tension'. Here, too, it cannot completely hide the yaw around the vertical axis that is typical of a mid-engine.

Regardless of whether it is jumps, compressions or high-speed corners - despite its ambitious pace, the Audi R8 V10 Plus quickly inspires confidence on the Nordschleife with its good driveability. The combination of the perfectly responsive naturally aspirated engine and the fast gear changes of the S tronic dual clutch transmission ensures cheers in the cockpit on the Nordschleife. The gruesome switching breaks of the automated R tronic of the early R8 are now finally forgotten.

267 km /h Schwedenkreuz and 289 km /h on the Döttinger Höhe in front of the Antoniusbuche - thanks to our opportunity to do a few warm-up laps in the industrial pool , the Audi R8 V10 Plus could imagine us even without the Nordschleife speed limit. The lap times delta achieved on the later super test lap with a speed limit is four seconds.

What an appearance on the ring: In the Nordschleife best list, the mid-engine novice not only clearly leaves his predecessor behind, but also famous curve heroes like the Porsche 911 Turbo S, the McLaren 650S or the Nissan GT-R. Chapeau, Audi R8 V10 Plus!


The all-wheel drive was newly developed. Instead of a viscous clutch in the first R8, a hydraulically controlled multi-plate clutch now ensures the variable distribution of drive torque between the front and rear axles within a few milliseconds. There is no fixed basic distribution. The distribution can be very rear-focused (up to 100%) or very front-heavy. The mechanical rear differential lock was also modified. The locking effect is 25 percent when pulling and 45 percent when pushing (previous pull /push 25/55).

New wishbone bearings are used on the front and rear axles. On the chassis side, the Audi R8 V10 Plus has stiffer springs and dampers than the basic V10. The Magnetic Ride adaptive chassis is available as an option. The plus chassis is a little tighter (suspension spring plus chassisFront axle 100 N /mm, rear axle 65 N /mm; Magnetic Ride suspension spring 90/60 N /mm). The basic V10 (VA 56.8 N /mm, HA 37.5 N /mm) and the top model (VA 75.4 N /mm, HA 47.8 N /mm) also differ in the stabilization rates. p>


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