FrontRunners: Audi R8

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The original Audi R8 may be a great car—even fine enough to earn top honors at Robb Report’s 2008 Car of the Year fete—but with just eight cylinders and only 420 hp, it is no supercar. However, the R8’s latest iteration, the $160,000 Audi R8 V10 (www?.audi.com), has clear supercar credentials. Those qualifications begin with the 5.2-liter V-10 engine that Audi borrowed from the R8’s corporate cousin and our 2009 Car of the Year winner, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 (see page 89). The engine generates 518 hp and 391 ft lbs of torque in the R8 V10, pushing the vehicle to 60 mph in less than four seconds and to a top speed of 196 mph. (The original R8 is hardly a slouch, with a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 187.) From the outside, the R8 V10 looks the same as its predecessor, aside from oval-shaped exhaust pipes, slightly larger scoops on the sideblades, and fewer crossbars beneath the headlights. North American deliveries for the R8 V10 are scheduled to begin this summer, in time for Robb Report’s 2010 Car of the Year contest.

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